Thursday, March 27, 2008
Make Them Care
As I mentioned 2 days ago and last week, God is trying to tell me something. This morning, the wife woke me to help her get the kids ready and in the car as she was going to work. I did and when I came back in, I laid back down as it was a ridiculous 7 AM. I usually have no trouble getting back sleep, but this morning was different. A phrase kept coming into my head, "Make them care." Ok? What does that mean, it's like some Field of Dreams kind of thing happening and I have never known God to speak to me like that. But I started to think about the apathy some of my students and many, many teenagers everywhere feel about the world. They have been written off until they get older. They get indoctrinated at a young age to feel, believe, and act a certain way and until they are adults and show what they have been programmed to be, they are invalid. But why shouldn't kids have a say in what goes on in their world? Why should kids sit back and let the government, the media, and the schools tell them what they need to do? So they learn not to care, their apathy is our fault. Make them care. I sat up thinking about how to make them care and the only way I can think of, well I think God made me think of, is to do as He did. I know that sounds self explanatory and trite, but I cannot tell you of one church that is doing it. Christ lived among the poor and sinful. Christ spent His ministry with those that had nothing. And He told us to do the same, but most churches are not doing the same. They have building funds and committees and bake sales. Youth groups have become all about fun times and community. Community and fun are important things, but what about what Jesus really did, because I do not remember Him and His disciples having a bake sale or protesting and picketing. They lifted their hands and feet and moved. They went right at the world, they went straight to the problems. Not bashing charities, but if you consider giving to charities and ministries the brunt of your involvement in the betterment of the world, don't you think that you are deceiving yourself? A lot of people do things like that so that they don't have to really do anything, none of the heavy lifting. I bought a snow blower a couple of years back to make my Michigan snow removal easier, but this year, it snowed a lot, so instead of getting the job done, I gave some kids money to do it for me. Isn't that what we do a lot of the times, write a check so that we don't have to do the work of obedience to God's plan for you. I am sorry, but Jesus never listed check writing or giving as a spiritual gift anywhere in the Bible. We need to care. Care what goes on in the world, care about all of the violence, care about the homeless and poor. We need to care. For myself and my kids and my students and hopefully everyone around me we are probably going to look an awful lot like foolish people. But here's the thing, God said in James 1:27 that Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Does this sound like committees and bakes sales and mega-churches and in house cafe's? To me it sounds like taking care of the least of these is what God has in mind for His people, not just sending money, although your money helps a lot, but it is getting your hands dirty. Becoming poverty to fight poverty. Becoming nothing to show the world something real, to show Christ's picture to those that possess the heart of what God wants from us clothed in rags. God tells me to Make them care.
I'm a simple person to figure out. I usually write it all down here. I try not to pretend to be anything. I am what I am and that's good enough until it's not anymore. I want my kids to remember me smiling when I'm gone. Integrity is the very basis of a good life. I love my God, my wife, my kids, my friends, and I try to love all of the rest of you.