Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Religion that will Dominate the World


props to Guy Muse for posting this one.

Ruined by Christ

I can trace the problem back to one fateful day in college. I said yes to an innocent coffee appointment with a Campus Crusade for Christ staff member. I then agreed to join a group of fraternity men that actually found some sort of excitement from talking about Jesus (and that met at 10:00 at night no less). And through this little band of Greek brothers, Jesus jumped off the pages of history and thrust something deep into my heart that has never healed. What was it? LIFE.

And now that I've found it, I can't settle for anything less than mind-numbing, heart-wrenching, adventure-seeking, face-melting LIFE.

"What does that even mean?"

It's like spending years in that little kiddie pool that Mom used to set up for us on the back patio. That plastic paradise was the deal! 15 cubic feet of splendor, complete with a two-foot turtle slide. And I milked it for countless hours of enjoyment.

And then it happened. One day, years later, I saw it - the ocean from a small island in Cancun baby! I mean, I'd kind of seen it before, in magazines and on t.v. But now I could feel the warm, incredibly soft sand on the soles of my feet. The beach sank gradually beneath the gentle waves and stretched itself out for hundreds of yards, providing a sharp backdrop to a brilliant blue expanse. Deep blue met sky blue on a horizon a million miles away. The stillness of the water, disrupted only by small white ruffles from a passing boat or two, only added to the entrancing power it already possessed. I could have played in it for hours. Well, actually I did, not wanting to ever leave (until my skin turned a contrasting brilliant red). Now, whenever I think about going to another beach, I know I'll never be quite as happy as when I walked that sweet island shoreline near Cancun. When I think of going to a beach, I think of going to THAT one.

Unfortunately, that analogy fails miserably in capturing the deep desire Jesus has placed in my heart to experience Him. He has taken me to a place that I can't return from. I can't find satisfaction in a marginal church experience. A mediocre Bible study won't suffice. A sterile accountability group gives me nothing. I'm forever on a journey to drink deeply of Jesus through radical obedience to His Word, minute-by-minute communion with the King and a vibrant community of fellow-journeyers. Anything less feels like a grown man trying to crawl back into the kiddie pool and splash around.

God help me. I've been ruined.