Ali McLachlan on "The Red Pill Syndrome".
I would like to mention an incredible man who came up with a revelation that had a deep impact on my life some years ago. Ali McLachlan is ministering in Liverpool at Belvidere Road Church. We are even more blessed because a number of his sermons are online here. The man is even an accomplished songwriter - my friend Mark Heath has done some outstanding work with his music that is available here. Why did he impact me? He is a radical. He's a man who isn't afraid to believe what he believes and make his beliefs so clear. And he is passionate about what he believes! Even more rare. But the thing that "got" me most of all was that when I was back in Dunstable, he had time for me - this is the most rare thing of all in my experience. "I don't have the time" is a phrase I hate. Well Ali made time for me and some friends.
He wrote a couple of newsletters called "A Small Circle" and in it he shared something that I've never forgotten. He called it, "The Red Pill Syndrome" and said this:
"In the highly philosophical sci-fi film The Matrix, Neo is offered an unpleasant choice: take the blue pill and wake up as if nothing had happened (and continue with the splinter in his mind which drove him to Morpheus in the first place); or take the red pill and face the unknown. It's a matter of trust and desperation.
[If the red pill = seeking God until He uses me to glorify Him on earth.] Only trust in the Father and a desperation to make our lives count in His service will prompt us to take the red pill. True, we do not know where it will stop. We don't like the thought of how 'deep the rabbit hole really goes'. If we had the choice, we'd all opt to be Stephen instead of Paul. We can trust God to get us through a day's trial and execution but can we really trust Him for a life of dying?".
I believe that there is strength in companionship. I believe that God's men in the Bible needed other people for encouragement and accountability. Moses needed an Aaron. Joshua needed a Caleb. David needed Jonathan. Barnabus needed Saul. Even Jesus rejoiced at this and took strength in the light of His forerunner, John.
You have known the aching feeling that you get when you try to unburden your heart like this - only to find that people have glazed over and lost you early on. You know what it is to feel that noone seems half as stressed by living an excellent life for God as you. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Yet for all the possible avenues of risk (eg. pride, compromise and failure) in taking the red pill of seeking God until He blesses us we share something with Neo and his companions. We are an unusual grouping of serious, unsatisfied men".
I don't really know what I'm trying to say. But "unsatisfied" seems to be the character of my life at the moment. I feel like I'm constantly hungry for ... more. Constantly looking to the horizon. Constantly waiting for something that I'm not even sure is. And I sometimes wish that I wasn't like that. I wish I could be a pew member that is just happy to sit in church every Sunday, pay my tithe and smile beningly at the "precious" message of the pastor. But I can't. Because at the moment, Ern Baxter is bellowing upstairs about "marching from Hebron to Zion"! Unsatisfied? Yes! We sing "You are the Lord, the Famous One!" ... but He isn't! He isn't famous! They don't even care about Him! Unsatisfied? How can I not be with a hero like Terry Virgo saying that he HATES church that isn't church! Unsatisfied? Oh I am SO unsatisfied. And sports? How is sports going to satisfy? How is sports going to play a part in spreading and covering the earth with the glory of the Lord? How is sports going to make Him the Famous One?
Unsatisfied? When I read of accounts in the Bible when Moses saw the back of the Lord and came down from the mountain with his face burning and shining?! When I read accounts of Enoch walking with God and simply "was not"?! When I read accounts of Elijah being taken up into heaven in a chariot of fire??! When I read accounts of the glory of the Lord filling the temple so that the priests simply couldn't move!?!? When I remember standing in the halls at Stoneleigh Bible Week just motionless as the Spirit of God moved over the worshippers?!?
I remember a final quote from the Matrix when Neo realises just "what" the red pill entails. He said to Morpheus, "I can't go back can I?". Morpheus said, "No, but if you could - would you want to?". And when it's put like that - no. I wouldn't.