Wednesday, May 16, 2012

guest post: smell the roses, blow out the candles

Every time someone decides to let me publish their words I get real excited. And then I don't do anything with those words for a long time. But I have some free time for the next hour or so (Rob is in Brentwood, and I don't have a key) and I thought I would write. I then remembered that Zach Erwin wrote a little something and I said that I would post it on my blog. That was a couple of weeks ago, so sorry to Zach for being such a bum.

Zach was one of my campers last year at Brookwoods. I'm proud of the man he's becoming, and I'm glad that I've had the opportunity to visit him in Louisville three or four times since camp. I don't know what else I can say by way of introduction, so I'll let his words speak for himself. If you'd like to get a hold of him let me know and I'll see what I can arrange. And if you'd like to post something (either as me or as yourself) let me know and let's make that happen. 

Without further ado, here are Zach's words: 

"Life, the compilation of multiple years meshed together to form lives. Each year that passes we should hold in memory, but never wish to return to that year. In Tuesday's With Morrie, a recurring theme is that it is never good to wish we were somewhere in our past, nor should we ever hope for the future to come quicker than it will.

Wishing for the past is an empty wish because if we were in the past we would never know what we had learned since then; wishing to "redo" a moment just doesn't work, because without it we would never have learned what we learned in the moment. What I'm saying is that without those moments, without those mistakes, we would never be able to be in a place where we saw that they were a mistake.

Wishing for the future to come is a wish that you will regret in the future itself. By not taking advantage of the place you are currently you are wasting your own time. If you don't look for the value in each moment you will never realize the price of that moment, that each moment holds an opportunity that you will never get back. Even now I'm sitting on the floor, bow tie and glasses on in my uncles house hours after my great aunt's funeral service; so the value of life is a little more on my mind than ever.

All around me there's a small party of talking adults -- many of which are faking there way through a conversation that they aren't interested in. Is that even practical? Is that a good way to spend life? Is typing this on an iPad a waste of my time?

I ran with Clay today, is that ok? How about chilling out with a game of Mario after a stressful day? Should one always push and press on?
The audio buzzing around me is a conglomeration of many conversations, all talking about something different: some new achievement, what they plan on doing in the future, etc. But I would bet none are talking about Christ. Why is it that so many flinch and shy away at Jesus's name? People remain civilized when they talk about Buddha and Brahman and Allah and even the ever so broad term "god," but if Jesus comes up in conversation all bets are off, lawyers called, and lawsuits filed.

What does Jesus even think of this? What does he think of how we spend our life? It's amazing that we could hear the greatest truth and walk away not talking about it. I mean come on.

John 3:16

How many eyes just rolled or people went through the verse in their mind and then toned out what they're reading now. How can we be tired of John 3:16? That's insane. "For God so loved the world" the beginning alone doesn't even make sense, much less the rest of it, "that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."

They say that when you have a favorite book you wish you had not read it only because you want you could read it again for the first time with a freshness that only comes with the first reading, because there is something about reading text for the first time that holds your attention captive. Then there are those texts that even hold you for ransom and only desire the retribution of understanding.

So do we think we have paid our ransom to the Bible? Even more specifically to the text of John 3:16? How audacious of us to think we have understood this. If we have then to hell with the Bible; to hell with Christ even. If you think you have the Bible understood then you might as well do with it what you do with a book you are done with: sell it to half price books or give it away.

Some of you are offended by what I just said but if your body or mind had no reaction to John 3:16 then what I said is true. That immense truth claim should either evoke disgust, if you don't believe it; confusion, if you don't understand it; relief, if you believe it; or AT LEAST SOMETHING! Cause if it doesn't, then we're messed up. I'm not here to preach because my reaction is just the same -- no reaction at all. "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand  rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." All I'm saying is that our eyes have been closed to the wonder of the scriptures that we've heard over and over and over and over again, but we have got to wake up or we will sleep for the rest of our lives."

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