I’ve done enough.
Had enough, given enough, loved enough, lived enough.
Prayed, worked, cried…
Laughed enough, cared enough and decided enough.
The temperature of America.
Ninety-eight point sick of buying, crying, lying, sighing, trying, vying…but in no hurry for dying.
Somewhere along the line, lukewarm has been presented as a virtuous temperance. Matter of fact, in our religious communities–especially Christian churches–the concept of pursuing, believing, striving and reaching has been discounted in favor of “immeasurable grace” that seems to cover a multitude of misunderstanding.
Yet the GPS of the Gospel is definitely set for the second mile.
Jesus had a disdain and dislike for anyone who was trying to glide through life without offering full commitment. From the manger in Bethlehem, where shepherds were beckoned from their work and wise men were required to travel hundreds of miles to follow a star, to the Book of Revelation, where Jesus tells one of the new churches that they were so noncommittal that they made him vomit, we see a Savior who wants us to be involved in saving ourselves.
It is the woman who touched the hem of his garment who was healed.
Another lady crawled across the floor so that she could stand upright and walk.
The blind man screamed at the top of his lungs for healing, even though the crowd thought he should shut up.
A centurian broke all protocol to ask a Jewish teacher to heal his servant, while admitting he was not worthy to have the Master come to his home.
It was the thief on the cross, who expressed faith in a “fellow criminal” hanging by his side, who achieved Paradise.
We are lying to people when we tell them that simply showing up will get them “up for the show.” The mere presence of praise songs in a church service does not promote worship–unless the people’s hearts are ablaze with gratitude.
Clever teaching of the Gospel with insightful stories falls flat unless it is heard by human beings who are looking for reasons to be energized.
The Pharisees hated Jesus because he was passionate. He ate, he drank, he fellowshipped, he interacted with all cultures, while never condemning anyone unless they condemned others or sat idly by, waiting for life to get better.
Don’t ever forget his words to the Jewish elder, Nicodemus: “You must be born again.”
And don’t ever think that you can tiptoe up to Jesus with a tepid, American attitude, feeling you’ve already done your part–and ever get his attention.