When I was growing up in Dunstable at my home church - New Covenant Church - there was a book circulating round the All-Age Bible School. It was called; "Living Above the Level of Mediocrity" by Charles Swindoll. I must confess I never read the book - I wasn't old enough and still haven't to this day. But the title of it always stuck with me. Christians - in the main - tend to excel at living a life of mediocrity.
Words like; "Safe", "Maturity", "decently and in order" are all very much words in the Christian vocabulary. Whereas other just as valid words in the Word of God like; "Martyr" and "hero" and "die for the faith" aren't spoken about as much! If you talk about martyrdom or going to the nations to spread the gospel - many Christians look at you oddly. Helen Keller once said;
"The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.”
I fear that many Christians don't have much vision. Sure we may believe we are hear to "bear witness" - but do we really believe that the Gospel of God is THE power - and the only power that He has given to transform this world? Sure we may believe that God has the sovereign right and power to heal and intervene in time and space - but do we believe that He has given that authority to us here and now by His Holy Spirit to do the job ourselves?
I was listening to a song from the musical; "Wicked" while I was at the gym the other day. It really excited me because I think it actually sums up the call to Christians to live "above the level of mediocrity".
"Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!
It's time to try
I think I'll try
And you can't pull me down!
Together we're unlimited
Together we'll be the greatest team
There's ever been
There's no fight we cannot win
Just you and I
With you and I
So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky!
As someone told me lately:
"Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!"
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am
I'm flying high
And soon I'll match them in renown
And nobody ...
Is ever gonna bring me down!".
I hate the fact that it's been a couple of years since I last did something that could be classed as "defying gravity". One of the reasons why flying to Hong Kong for the "Glory and Grace Conference" was so shocking to me was because I felt God call me to go just a month before the event. It was scary and terrifying flying off around the world on my own to a city I'd never visited before in a conference with Christians I had never met. But it was the most amazing time of my life!
I want this year to be the same. I want to "defy gravity"! And I want to send a message to those "who would ground" me. Sadly those who would ground us tend to be Christians and often Christians who think they know us. So this year I have certain goals and aims!
1. I have a meeting planned with an SGM leader here in the United Kingdom next month. I am dreading it. I'm scared. But I want to go through with it to finally bring closure on that nasty chapter on my life. I am full of faith that it can get sorted and that I hope my relationship with my family will get sorted.
2. There is another "Glory and Grace Conference" in October and I do hope to go - even if I have to go on my own! I am full of hope and faith it will be a catalyst moment that will propel me to greater levels.
And there are just two - but I am looking for more! You see the thing I dread the most is getting to the end of my life and having regrets that I lived a "normal" life - going to work, paying taxes, getting married. That's all valid. But if we don't change the world that we live in for the glory of God - then what's it all about?
Time to fly!