Have you noticed an increase of motivational speakers lately?
The more the world unravels the more upbeat these guys seem to be. (Most are men. I think women know better.)
You know the type.
They challenge you to make your life count.
They tell you to change the world and make an impact for God. And then give you a zillion pointers. They call it a blog.
What about the super-godly who want to die with their boots on? (I don’t have boots. What does that say about me?)
How do you respond to these calls for excellence?
I’m a cynic at heart so my reaction is: Oh yea? Show me what you’ve done lately
to stop the rotation of the planet.
I hate these guys.
They’re appealing to the flesh. My flesh. Of course I want to be great and important. Who doesn’t?
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m all for excellence. I ripped a new play apart last week because it could have been so much better. (And I wished I had written it.)
I’m all for success. My success. I really don’t care about anybody else’s except maybe my children’s.
I know that these things in themselves aren’t bad. There’s a lot of mediocrity that passes for excellence, like that play, and so a slap on the head is a good thing.
But the question is: is this where God is calling us?
I know he tells us to be perfect as he is perfect, and that without holiness we will never get to hang out together. That’s quite a standard to live up to. It pales in comparison to the motivational mantras of becoming rock stars.
However, I’m not sure, given all the right resources, that we can even live up to being mediocre.
Even mediocrity has its standards that are hard to achieve.
I have a motivational poster in my office that says: “Ineptitude: If you can’t learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.”
I’m learning to follow Jesus poorly. I don’t get it right. My motivations are wrapped in me, myself and I – my favorite trinity.
I need a Savior. That’s why Jesus died for me.
My rock-star status doesn’t exist. It’s a lie.
My real status is bound up with his. God captured me, subdued me, and extracted me from the world and put me into the kingdom of his Son. Don’t look at me like that. It was God’s idea.
So maybe the challenge is not so much what I can do for God that is so great, but what God has already done for me which is enormous. I need to focus on that.
And then tell somebody else so he can wipe the sweat off his brow and know he’s not alone.