I wish I had done more

rIpSszng8P0DL0TimSzZbpfnvh1 copySchindler’s List, rated as the number nine greatest movie
of all time by The American Film Institute, is a movie that I’m
quite sure the majority of us have seen. Personally I saw it when I
was much younger. It was featured with no editing on cable tv and
much to my mom’s dislike, my history teacher recommended we all see
it. Though I’ve seen the movie several times since, I only remember
two things in the movie that made an immediate impression on me
that night. First, it is the only time I’ve seen a woman nude on
cable tv, and second the closing line spoken by Oskar Schindler at
the end of the movie. As his “Jews” hand him the ring they have
made him, he breaks down looking at his car and says something like
if I would have sold this car I had bought more. “I wish I
had only done more.”. Years later I’ve never forgotten that line. I
recently finished reading Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love”. And now I
can’t seem to get that statement out of my head. I realize that we
as followers will always be plagued by that statement, and we
should, but that isn’t an excuse to do nothing or to do whats
comfortable. When I think about Jesus and the way he and those
around him lived, and I compare that to the way that we as American
Christians live, the two are far different. Jesus was seen as
strange and radical. His disciples were extremists. There is no
arguing this. So why don’t people think that we are extremists? Why
don’t people dismiss us as crazy? Because many of us have reduced
Christianity to being “saved”, baptized, being pro life(but only
when it’s unborn children we speak of, not criminals or victims of
war), and voting republican. This and a few cultural rules like not
drinking, smoking, or cussing and you’ve got a good Christian. I
realize not everyone thinks this way, but I speak from experience
when I say this isn’t the exception. I too thought this way for a
long time. I don’t believe this to be what Jesus advocated in
living his life as an example for us all. It should be so much more
challenging than that. So much more challenging for me. When I
shared all of this with Shawna she became worried. I guess she
thought I wanted to sell everything and join a commune or
something. Sometimes I wonder if that wouldn’t be best. Ah, but
even that might be too easy. But seriously, if we are truly
following Christ, should we have anything left for ourselves? No,
all belongs to Him. For so long I’ve chased the American dream, a
house, a family and a dog named Jack. We all feel the need to
provide for our families. I get that. But I think we use that as an
excuse sometime. Since when is providing for your family defined as
the American standard of living? Since when does that include a
four bedroom house with cable in each room? What if I provided
myself and my family less comforts and made more effort to use
those resources to help someone else provide the essentials for
their family? What would that look like? Isn’t this what the early
church did? How that would change the way the world saw us. Maybe
then we would be extremists. The other day I was driving to
Arlington and felt so convicted by all of this that I actually
drove the speed limit. Everyone else sped by and I thought, if I
got pulled over for speeding I can’t just say, “but everyone else
was speeding officer. I was just moving with the flow of traffic.”.
That doesn’t work. Just because something is the norm doesn’t make
it right. The same is true with Christianity. Radical followers
have always been viewed as rebels. We should embrace that, and if
we’re thought of as extremists, who cares? Those that are closest
to me know that I have an addiction to nicotine. I am personally
going to do my best to break this addiction, not because I believe
it’s a sin but because its a waste of money and resources that
could be used for greater purposes. It’s an expensive comfort that
I can do without. I hope it’s only the beginning and that in the
future I can give up much more for who I believe in and what his
life challenges us to do.

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