Monday, November 26, 2007

I wish my ball was still red

I remember as a kid we would buy red balls that were some sort of strange material and even though they were not that much fun for us to play with the dog loved them. For whatever reason the dog thought they were very tasty and we would find these balls months later hidden under couches, in the basement or any other place the dog thought would be safe. After the dog was done these balls would have little assemblance to the ball we had originally bought. There was little if any red left on them, they had huge holes, bite marks, and drool all over them.
I think the Samaritan women who Jesus talked to at the well might have felt like the bouncy ball the dog had chewed up. I wasn't there so I can't say for certain but she seems like the type of women who had made some questionable decisions, it may have been her fault that she had been married numerous times and was living with a man who was not her husband. When Jesus said I came to give life and life to its fullest, was he talking about a life with freedom to be involved in this type of lifestyle? I don't know I have never lived or slept with anyone other than my wife but I would think the Samaritan's women life had to have been pretty rough. If that society was like ours I am sure "the good people" gossiped about her, some of the men tried to get their way with her because she was "easy' and I am sure her self worth was shot.
After Jesus gives her the freeing words of His message what happens? Does her life miracously change? We never hear another word about her. I don't think she is the point in the application of this story, how many women do we know in this similiar situation? How many women wish there proverbial ball was still red? How many wish they still had a whole life but because of situations beyond their control they are down and out? I was visiting my family in Vermont and I saw my sister. My sister does not want much to do with my family, God, or any of the such. It makes giving a lecture pretty pointless. I am at a loss at what to do other than love her through her situation. I don't know if she will make it out. I hope and pray she will but it looks bleak. This story of the Good Samaritan gives me hope for people like my sister.
On my 13 hour trip home from Vermont (while my kids were watching every possible disney movie) I was thinking of my sister and women like her. I was thinking later on in life, after a lengthy conversation with my wife. I was thinking it would be a worthwhile thing if I became employed as a security guard at a strip club. Why may you ask? Let's think about the scenerio of a strip club it is full of women who feel pretty lousy about themselves who are using the desires of men to pay for food on their tables for their kids. I don't think many women become strippers because it is an appealing profession. It is very easy to judge these women and condemn them but lets think what we as a Christian community are providing as alternatives. I hate what my sister has become, I hate that the Samaritan women was so despised but what do I do about it? Of course I am not going to go work in a strip club but it doesn't mean that these women are worthless.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The final outcome

I am always thinking and concerned about what my final outcome will be. As I think about what this new venture in Goshen will be I don't know what the final outcome will be. I think about when I was 25 and just starting at real life, the responsibility the prestege of working in a church of the size and the youth group. I was excited to think after Real Life what opportunities would open up after that. Now seven years later I look back and think what happened. I am now starting over. I have no idea how to measure success in a church setting. If I was to measure it financially I was making $10 an hour at the group home I was working at. In this new venture I am making just over half what I was making at Real Life. But, I can't look at what I am doing in terms of finance. I can't look at St Marks in terms of numbers either. I am inheriting a youth group of about 10% the size of Real Life. It is hard from a logical perspective of what has happened. This makes no sense at all from a human perspective.
I don't have an agenda of where my life is going to go. I really don't have a goal of what I want to accomplish at St Marks, I don't have all of these concerns of where this job is going to take me.
I am more concerned with the person I am and who I become rather than what goals and accolaids I get. Do I want to be successful? Absolutely, but the outcome I am looking for is just different now as oppossed to when I was 25. Sometimes rather many times when following God it doesn't make much sense and God's definition of success is something that we can only scratch our heads at. At least God hasn't asked me to build an ark (see noah), marry a prostitute (see Hosea), or any other number of things He asked people in the Bible to do.