A Warlock and a Festival

Lately I have been struggling with much.

When I say much I mean that often as Jake and I are driving from place to place my head gets filled with so much emotion and the barrier of my eyelids break into a flood of tears.
I can’t control it, but I want to.

I am discovering that girls in general love the idea of security.

I did not realize how much I was obsessed with it myself until a married a man who is a freelance. A missionary.

It simply bothers me that I don’t know if we are going to be able to raise 100 percent of our support in 100 days.

It bothers me that my heart and the mission I feel called to is in Taiwan and yet I am trapped in my car driving from city to city. This is because before I can leave I have to do the horse and pony show to countless churches and people in order to drum up support for our mission.

I find myself sad sometimes that I don’t have a place to call home. Sometimes I wish that Jake and I knew what normality was.

I used to proclaim the statement “The life of a disciple is the best life” with so much confidence. But this week I wanted to change it to “Maybe the life of a disciple is just the best afterlife.”

Jake has so much faith. So much security that God is going to pull through on this. That we will make in to Taiwan in no time. That people will catch the vision. That souls will be saved. That we have meaning. That we have a purpose. That we have our security in Christ.

Why then am I riding the struggle bus?

Just admitting this I want to cry again. It is hard for me to see God’s plan prevail through the four doors of my car.

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….

Today was a day where for some reason we had no meetings lined up. Normally we have several places to go and too many people in an area to see. Yet today, people are busy. Life is messy. Churches have agendas. So sometimes this happens.

We sat in Starbucks today to catch up on homework, to continue planning this trip, to pray, to listen to sermons and sip sweet savory cups of expresso.

Something hit me today at Starbucks. Looking over towards the counter, my view of the baristas consisted of two people living an alternative lifestyle, a very normal part of life today. But the third person was a new attraction to the eye. A real life warlock. He was actually the manager. He came into work with a cape, a pointed hat, a staff. It was almost like a costume. Perhaps he does children’s book readings at the local library.

Through my head phones I was listening to podcasts. Sermons about the Savior. Ugh, I was once again frustrated. Sitting here, wanting to have a mission of value and purpose and yet listening to the very words of life through headphones. It was frustrating because I wanted the ones behind the counter to hear the words I was listening too, not just me.

That was the moment my perception was challenged.

….
Paraphrase from a Watermark Tampa sermon (8-23-15)

2 Peter 1:5 – “For this very reason, make every effort to SUPPLEMENT your faith with virtue and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge”….

This passage hinges upon that word supplement: In greek, it is the word ἐπιχορήγησατε

It means, “Contribute to the expenses of a chorus.”

In order to understand the meaning behind this we have to look back at the ancient greek God of harvest. Dionysus. The party god.

Every year there would be a raunchy, pagan festival to celebrate him. Public sex acts would be displayed for a week annually to get this “gods” attention.

Plays with singings and horrendous displays would be performed on a stage, while members of the audience would eat raw meat and wine until they would throw up. Yet still they would continue eating this meat and strong drink until they would have crazy hallucinations as they watched the show. It was ancient Mardi Gras.

These shows had immense cost. They involved hired performers, it was this huge event. People paid big bucks for this to happen. Sometimes they gave until it hurt to make the show great. Those people who paid for the performance are referred to by a greek noun that makes up the root of the greek word “Supplement.”

They were people who gave everything for the festival.

The supplementers

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..…..

Seem familiar?

What if I was to imagine my own faith as a festival, the one that I plan and pay for? It was said that Jesus went to the cross for the joy that was set before Him. This crazy, eternal perspective produced joy amidst the hardest and most brutal moments of life. I know it costs me everything to serve Jesus. But do I celebrate that cost? Do I revel in the glorious festival that is serving the Lord? Do I believe his life is so much better than some ancient frat party thrown for gods of wood and stone?

I desire and have the kind of faith that attracts an audience, that makes people want to take part in what God is doing.

You can see the faith of some and it is “so so”.

It looks like they paid waaaaaaaaaay to much for the party they are throwing.

I know I have greatly been challenged by the faith of some of those in my own life. These are the people who dug deep into their pockets for all the spare change they had left. They put everything into supplying the work of Christ. And they did it joyfully.

I am challenged by the ones in the scriptures who sacrificed so much of their life that their faith was a beautiful show. So beautiful in fact that it made me want to find the deeper meaning of the show for myself.

Today I am reminded why I am doing what I am doing.

If my life was a festival would people even care to come?

Would those baristas that served coffee today want to catch a glimpse of a show that told the story of a perfect man, who sacrificed so much for his festival that he died for everyone in the audience. What a worthy cause. What beautiful God that uses not wine and flesh for revelry but forgiveness! What a supplier of the festival Christ was!

Today I am encouraged.

In this moment I remember the purpose of this journey. The reason for it all.

I do not envy a home, or security, or routine.

Because right now my mind is focused on the bigger picture. The festival. The faith.

But tomorrow may be a different story because unlike Jesus, my show is not perfect. I am a sinner and lest I forget.

So as Jake and I continue on these long roads please pray for us.

  • Pray that God continues to provide monthly supporters and prayer warriors so that we can share the festival in Taiwan.
  • Pray that we would be fully funded by Nov. 17th (That is our 100 day mark)
  • Pray that God reminds us of our purpose daily so that we man not grow weary or discouraged
  • Pray for the ones that are not walking with Christ that we meet along the way
  • Pray for the ministry in Taiwan that is happening right now as we speak
  • Pray for the warlock behind the counter in this Starbucks. I do not know if he is actually a warlock, but his festival makes you think.

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Special Thanks to Gian Carlo Photography, all courtesy of him. 

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