Monday, June 22, 2015
My Moment Of Terror
I experienced a moment of sheer terror last week, and it made me realize something profound.
You may know that I’m in the planning stages for a proposed series of meetings that would provide
an opportunity for non-Christians to come and learn more about who Jesus was, and what he taught, and why he’s still relevant today, but without all the typical baggage – politics, religion, etc. – that seems to follow him around.
Part of the inspiration came after writing the fourteen part blog series, “Jesus Untangled”, which makes a strong case for separating our faith in Jesus from our politics. But that’s not the only thing that spurred me to take this next step. It was also the excitement I felt after reading a book by Carl Medearis called “Muslims, Christians and Jesus”, which of course is focused primarily on sharing Jesus with Muslims, but still makes a strong case for giving people Jesus apart from doctrines, denominationalism, Western culture, or political dogma.
So, I’ve been spending a lot of my free time lately trying to design the curriculum for this class, which I’m calling “Jesus Without Religion (Or Politics)”. I’ve worked out a nice place to host the sessions, and I’ve picked out a tentative date for when we’ll start, and I even know where and how I’m going to recruit the people who are most likely to resonate with the subject matter and approach.
Everything really seems to be coming together so far, but a few days ago, as I was sort of imagining what those meetings would look like, something wonderful happened – I had a mild panic attack.
My heart started racing. I began to breathe faster. My nerves were on edge. Everything I had put together so carefully for these meetings suddenly began to appear weak and foolish and totally worthless. “What if I screw this up?” I thought. “What if no one shows up? What if they do show up and I don’t measure up to their expectations?”
That’s when I did the best thing possible – I abandoned my self-sufficiency and I went down on my knees to pray. “Lord Jesus,” I said, “please, show up and take control of this. You know I don’t know what I’m doing. Help me, Jesus, to just point everyone to you. Give everyone eyes to see you and open their ears to hear your voice. Help me to get out of your way – and to stay out of the way – so they can do that.”
That’s my prayer. I know that the best I can do is hardly enough, but I do trust that if I listen carefully to Jesus and allow Him to take control, everything will be alright.
Jesus Without Religion (Or Politics) will start on Wednesday evening, July 15th, at 6:30 pm here in Orange County, at a business park in Irvine, CA.
I appreciate your prayers for me as I listen for God’s voice and wait on Him to lead me one step at a time into the great unknown.
Please also pray especially for the people who need this meeting the most. Pray that they will hear about it, and that they will have the courage to show up with their questions, and pray that the teacher will have the good sense to get out of the way so that Jesus can introduce himself to each and every one of them.