a wasted life...it's all perspective
I'm having thoughts that run very counter to my training and personal experience. After 36 years of hearing sermons about "making a difference" and preaching them back to the same people, I'm beginning to question of our definition of "making a difference" is the highest calling after all. What if we were called not to world impact but to some sort of transcendant identification?
Don't panic. I'm not about to swap my Levi's for sackcloth or otherwise emulate the desert fathers in the fullest sense. I'm just reading these dangerous pieces of writing...pieces that involve other people like myself who probably never intended on wasting their lives.
Ezekial had quite a rude intro into ministry. Living among the exiles on the banks of the Kebar River, he had a full blown vision that would chart the course of his life. The first part is an incredible otherly-world encounter that Speilberg's Dreamworks could neither dream nor make work. The second part - chapter 2 and the early part of 3 - takes a decidedly unvisionary-like turn...a call to a message that will be rejected....a call to a man who, in embracing it, knows he's setting himself up for a life-long struggle.
You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you."
Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.
I will confess a certain affinity for effective communication. I like to speak or write and know that people are getting it. I'm not so sure what my reaction would be if God called me and said "Your main concern is not that they get it...your main concern is that you preach it."
God was so intent with this point regarding Ezekial that, a few verses later, he went on to tell him that He was going to make Ezekial's head like the "hardest stone, harder than flint...". How would it feel to know that God was giving you the gift of hardheadedness, because He fully understood what the days ahead would hold?
I'm pondering, this morning...have I made effective communication my ultimate goal? Or have I lifted my eyes from that goal (which in all honesty, can be as much about stroking the ego of the communicator than anything else) for a second and focused on the message that He would have me speak...live or die?
And he said to me, "Son of Man, eat what is before you. Eat this scroll, then go back and speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat."
The message. It's really what's for dinner.