Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tornadoes and TV Preachers...

I’ve been flipping through the channels at night, late. I haven’t been sleeping too well lately. I guess it’s the tornado that came through. You know, changing perceptions of what’s nailed down.

Several nights we didn’t have power. And I woke up in the middle of the night, scared, trying to make sense of it, thinking, praying. There’s nothing like a natural disaster to make you do the “Dorothy and Toto” thing. You know, sit up late, in the dark, and rethink what’s solid, where home is… flying monkeys the whole bit.

Yeah, well, after a few days, they got the power back on, and the cable-which is amazing, because it took ’em three weeks to come out and install the cable in the first place. Anyway, the first night I got my cable back, I woke up in the middle of the night, and I didn't sit and think or pray. I started flipping through TV channels. And for some reason, I zoned in on a TV preacher. He had really big hair. When I tuned in, he was just getting wound up, saying that he had “prayed that tornado away from his Temple of Praise out on Highway 9.” Of course, he didn’t say anything about the tornado hitting the trailer park three counties over on Highway 251. Yeah, well… no Temple there I guess. I think this was the same TV preacher who said Jesus wants everyone ‘healthy and wealthy! All you need is to claim it!’

Well, he was good for a laugh. But, I don’t think I’ll bank on the words he was putting in Jesus’ mouth. I mean, a tree fell on my old Toyota during the tornado. If it had been a Cadillac, it would’ve been just as squashed.

You know what I’d love to hear? I’d love to flip to a TV preacher some night and hear him say, “Okay, here’s the deal. Jesus is the Big Kahuna. He calls all the shots. And Jesus wants you to follow him. And He’s not gonna make you rich, and He’s not gonna make you famous. In fact, He’s gonna cost you everything you’ve got. But Jesus wants you to follow Him. That’s it.” I’d love to hear some TV preacher say that. But I’m not holding my breath. I think it would probably cut donations.

I’ve been trying to follow Jesus since I was a kid. I walked down an aisle in a church when I was 12 years old. I opened up my hands, and I said, “Here I am Jesus. Here I am.” I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I just knew I wanted Him, and He wanted me. Before long, I started understanding the hard stuff. And I’ll tell you the truth: it scared me. Bad. Surrender…Dying…All that stuff. It’s scary, giving up, giving it all up. It’s scary.

As I’ve gotten older, it hasn’t got much less frightening. “Jesus wants everything. Everything.” That’s enough to keep you up nights. The other night, when the wind blew through, I thought he might just be coming for it all right then. But I’ll tell you something: underneath all the anxiety about surrender, I think I’m learning I can trust Him. Jesus. I mean, He’s not out to make life hell. Quite the opposite.

So, maybe tonight, when I wake up at three o’clock, I won’t flip through the channels. Maybe, I’ll just open up my hands and say, “Here I am, Jesus. Here I am.” Maybe I’ll do that. by Curt Cloninger

Well, sometimes my life just doesn’t make sense at all. When the mountains look so big, and my faith just seems so small. So, hold me, Jesus, ‘cause I’m shaking like a leaf. You have been my King of Glory. Won’t you be my Prince of Peace? Rich Mullins


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Stew. The idea of costly grace and dying to self is something I struggle with daily. At what cost do we accept our salvation? What are we willing to lay down? Sobering thoughts as we continue on the journey.


9:35 AM  

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