‘Forgiveness Please’

Terry Walton



I Was Thinking…

I read an indicting statement in Robert Benson’s book Punching Holes in the Dark.  It grabbed me and caused me a moment of confession in my spiritual journey.  He writes, “Years of performing in a Christian rock-and-roll band in churches, years of working in a Christian music company whose audience was the crowd of people who already believed the things we were saying, years of making books largely aimed at the people who base their lives on the same theological pillars I do hardly count as going forth into all the world.  I was not so much spreading the gospel as securing the gospel, not so much spreading seeds as it was saving the gospel from harm from those folks out there who did not hold the Story dear in the same way we did.”  Ouch!

There have been moments when I have attempted to ‘play God’ with the Gospel.  There have been opportunities when I thought my job was to protect the gospel more than proclaim the gospel.  There have been seasons when I had understood my calling to be keeping the saints happy while the sinners found their own way.  There have been days, weeks and months when I saw my job as protecting God rather than trusting God.  God forgive me.

I am learning that opening up my heart and mind to someone who doesn’t quite see God the same way I do is a refreshing experience.  It is only then that I really begin to challenge what I believe and why I believe.  I am learning that people who are different from me are the ones who often teach me the greatest lessons.  I am growing only when I trust God in the places where I try to control God.  Am I the only person learning such lessons?

I have a friend who has often said “God can do very little with narrow minded persons.”  I think he is correct.  God forgive me when I think I have it all figured out.  Forgive me when I have concluded my way is the better way of believing, worshipping, living and loving.  Forgive me God when I have attempted to sit where you sit and do what you do.  God forgive me!

A part of humanity’s problem is that the attitude “Birds of a feather flock together” is all too true.  I need to be courageous enough to fly with different birds from time to time…who knows, I might learn a better way to fly.

As God’s people we are called to proclaim the Gospel.  As St. Francis of Assisi is believed to have said, “Shout the Gospel from the rooftops.  If necessary, use words.”  May it be so for me.  May it be so for you.

Always Thinking…

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