Monday, October 17, 2011

Alarm Clock Christianity

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

I really enjoy sleep.

I often look for opportunities to get a nap in or sleep in, it is a great feeling to be caught up enough to take a nap.  Sometimes, and don’t tell anyone, I still have a lot to do but I manage to squeeze in a nap.  I just feel so much more like doing the things I need to do, after I totally wake up of course.

Sleep is great.

Therefore, because I treasure my sleep so much, I have an enemy.  I call this enemy the alarm clock.  I hate this terrible invention with its incessant, “BAH BAH BAH BAH!” that has drawn me back into reality from many a wonderful dream.  This frequent pain has caused me to wake early in the hopes to avoid the terrible noise and has done a good amount of psychological harm.

I am serious.

If I hear an alarm clock in a store or on a television program my brow instantly furrows and I am placed in a bad mood.  I don’t understand why, but it just instantly makes me frustrated.

When I look at the Scripture at the beginning of this post it talks about how the faith that I have is worthless unless I have love, in fact the whole chapter of I Corinthians deals with this.  In some translations it says that our faith is like the clanging of a symbol, in this case a creaky gate, the point is it is likened to an annoying sound.

For me, the most annoying sound is an alarm clock.

One time my wife (Denise) got up for work and forgot to turn off her alarm.  Denise is a teacher and gets up very early (about 5:30am), and this happened to be my day off.  My perfect sleep in day…all for not. 

That was annoying…

…but I have done the same to her on accident…

…the point is still the same.

Is the way I carry out my faith annoying and does it cause people to be annoyed (as I am with the alarm) with my faith?  

What is it that I am making the sacrifice of Christ out to be?

Is it a set of rules?  Is it a lot of talk with no action?  Is it annoying?  Is it an empty promise?  Is it a cold shoulder with a warm smile in the hopes of inadvertently faking people into believing I am genuine?

I know I am guilty of this, but I also know that since God has been revealing this to me…He has been moving me away from that.  I am still “sick” and annoying, but I believe He is making me well.

Today, my challenge is to not be the blaring alarm clock, the creaking gate, the clanging symbol, with your faith.  The challenge is to love others as Christ loved them.  We can talk a good game, even moved mountains (check it out, it is in chapter 13) but if we don’t love people…we are truly portraying the love of Christ, which is why He came here.

We are making His story annoying to those who need to hear about Him and learn of His great love for them.
Let us who know Him, come to know Him better…let us make Him famous…by learning to love others as He does.  We need not push an agenda, but rather love others and let God do the work and present the time for the conversation. 

God bless!


Timothy said...

"We are making His story annoying to those who need to hear about Him and learn of His great love for them.
Let us who know Him, come to know Him better…let us make Him famous…by learning to love others as He does."

Very true indeed bud! I wanted to share an observation with you from my work out there in the secular corporate workforce...

In corporate america I struggle with "showing love" VS "hiding my faith".

We are not allowed to talk religion, politics,etc at work but this is seldome practiced and if I'm not careful it often feel like, "Talk about anything provided it's not Christianity. Any other religion, liberal politics, sexual preference, etc are welcome."

My challange is how can I let people know I am a Christian without becomming a "bible-thumper" and creating an HR incident.

I believe the answer to this is as you hinted at, "By the love we show for each other..."

I recently received possitive feedback in my PE along the lines of, "[...]Tim is always calm and makes time for everyone. How does he do that?[...]"

I mention this not to state how awesome I am (which is true), but to show an example of how Christ can work through us without us having to drop someone off at a Church and hold their hands as they walk to the alter.

This was an opening to have a frank conversation with someone at work about my experiences and trials and how I don't have to let the silly stuff like a $24M project going over budget slow me down.

My challange is to always maintain my cool and show that love regardless of meeting schedules, workload, and pushy project sponsors and allow Christ to work though me.

Adam said...

Tim, that is great! The time will come and the door will open for you to share. Until that time look at the way you handle yourself at work as a time of tilling and preparing. Thanks for sharing, and be encouraged!