Well, I thought you should know that "B" from my last post came in to Aroma's on Friday, sat at my table, and carried on a conversation like nothing happened on Tuesday and Wednesday. Who knows? But, everything is back the way it was as far as "B" is concerned.
Yesterday the coffee shop became a battleground as two of my friends (we'll call them "A" and "B") fought about politics. One friend I agree with (A), the other I don't (B). But the one that I don't agree with (B) will never be changed by arguing, so I've never fought with him about his views. But yesterday "A" did go at him pretty hard. I'm not sure why. I don't think "A" thought he could change "B". I think "A" was just tired of being stereotyped by a generational bias that says that all conservatives are rich, money-grubbing SOB's (to put it in "B's" terms). It was pretty heated for about 20 minutes as "B" began yelling at "A". It was disturbing for me because "B" has been someone I've worked hard to be friends with for over a year. He's been family to our family, in spite of our differences. Then, this morning, "B" told me that we could no longer be friends because I have such conservative friends. "B" informed me that he would no longer be bothering me with his boring liberal rhetoric. He then slammed his truck door in my face and drove away. Sad day. Sad day, indeed.
One of my favorite passages of the Bible is the story of Elijah on Mt. Carmel. He's like the Rambo of the OT. He stands up to the pagans and proves that God is real, he brings down rain after a 3+ year drought, and then outruns the king's horse-drawn chariot back to town. This story impacts me every time I read it. But today, it struck me in a new way. Elijah's actions would have had no impact had it not been for the God who sends the fire. I am reminded that, in spite of my best efforts at relevance and impact, it is God who moves and impacts. God sends the fire, and not at my command, but in His time. When I get frustrated at God's lack of moving in the lives of the people I'm trying to impact, maybe I should be asking a different question. Maybe it's not because I wasn't relevant enough. Maybe it's not because my desire wasn't great enough. Maybe I just forgot that it doesn't depend on me at all. It depends completely on the God who sends the fire. I'm at Origins this week (a conference at Mosaic Los Angeles), and we are unpacking their core values. One of their values is Relevance to culture is not optional, which I believe with all my heart. I believe that an irrelevant presentation of the Gospel is sin. But, the greater sin is to think it depends on me and my relevance. God sends the fire, and my relevance is how I step aside for God to pour it down on the offering (me). I'm going to stop asking God to make me more relevant, and start seeking His Fire. That's the real point to the story of Elijah. And that should be the point of my life.
I'm in LA for my second Origins Conf. I'm rooming with my friend, Roy, who just pointed me to a blog where I found the one of the coolest apps ever! Check this out: Jott. This allows you to send emails via a phone call. You can even send to-do items to your Backpack pages. Awesome. I signed up tonight, and sent myself a Jott. Too cool. Check it out. It's mentioned on a web site called Pastorhacks.net.