Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Following God Even When It Is Tough

This was part of a sermon I preached recently, but the podcast guy is really behind in getting the mp3 up. I was talking about following God even when He asks us to do something hard, or we don't see an obvious positive outcome, or things just look bad. I used a clip from Joan of Arcadia to illustrate the point. Joan of Arcadia was a television show where "god" appears to a teenage girl named Joan and asks her to do some tough things. Christians sometimes had a hard time with the show because "god" appeared as some weird people some times, and spoke in new-agey terms frequently. But if you got past the Yoda-isms of "god" in the series, they actually had some solid theology. Not always, but better than most shows in Hollywood do.

Anyway, here is the background to the clip I played:

"Joan is asked (by "god") to take a reclusive bully (Ramsey) to the school dance instead of her boyfriend (Adam). While both her mother and the assistant principal object, Joan follows through with God's task. At the dance, it is revealed the bully has a bottle of alcohol with him but Joan convinces him not to open it. Despite this the assistant principal later reaches into his jacket and, finding the alcohol, expels him. He runs away and Joan joins him. The bully goes to a secluded area and begins playing with a gun. Joan’s father, a police officer, is able to find the two and talk the bully away from the gun in a very dangerous and tense situation."

The next day, Joan sees "god" (as a lady handing out cupcakes) in the halls in school and decides to confront her about ruining Joan's life:

Our problem is, we don't get the nice TV wrap-up at the end. If we do the hard stuff that God asks us to, we may never know this side of heaven the impact that those choices had. We might only get to deal with the problems that come with the choice on our end. We may never know that our simple act of befriending the violent bully might have stopped the school shoot out. We might not ever know how taking a different exit on the way to work might stop an accident from happening. We might never know how sticking with church, even when it gets hard, or superficial, or confusing, might make the difference in someone else's life. Or even our own.

1 comment:

Bird said...

I hope that, when we get to heaven one day, we'll see how all of those ends tie up. Good post, Matt. Nice segue into that Joan clip too.