Friday, February 10, 2006

Thirty-Six Days Later :: part one

“Because I care more about your holiness than about your friendship.”

Roughly five years ago to the month, I stood in the dingy kitchen of an apartment approximately five thousand miles from here and listened to a man I thought was my friend speak those words into my life. He is my friend – closer than a brother - but at that moment, I questioned it.

We’d been on the field for several months at that point and were coming to the end of the proverbial honeymoon phase. “End of the honeymoon” doesn’t quite capture the true flavor of the moment, though. It was more like watching a couple of flies kill themselves by repeatedly hurling their bodies against a window. No good can come of that, little friends - best just to move on.

We had certainly moved on, or so we had thought. Being there, five thousand miles away, certainly seemed like a good idea when we graduated college nearly a year ago – two buddies servin’ the Lord abroad, a couple of young hotrod Jim Elliot wannabes, laying it all on the line for Jesus. There’s a romantic notion to missionary work, or most any such service to Christ. There is this secret, seductive lure that somehow draws you in: it is the same thing young boys feel when they lie about their age to sign up for military service. It is both honorable and ignorant, for though they have played at war, they know not yet the deep horrors of real war.

So the “call” comes and if you’re listening, you pick up. You buy the field. You’re pretty sure in that field is a harvest, somewhere. So you make your little sacrifices, you count your little costs; you leave things and people behind for the sake of a greater something, something bigger than yourself. It all looks nice on paper. It reads well in books. It sounds cool from jazzed-up conference speakers. The reality of digging in that field, however, was much different than the dreams my friend and I had dreamt. Reality, it seemed, had snuck up on us with a sixty-pound sledgehammer, and was then going to town on our spiritual little backsides (and that in a most un-dreamlike fashion, I might add.)

Those jazzed-up conference speakers had forgotten to mention that to me.

[ part 2 ]

16 comments:

j truitt said...

oh baby!

Diddy said...

Dude, seriously . . . that was awesome. Nice work, Diesel. I can't wait for your March 24th post.

samb said...

hahahaha

nice. Its about dang time dood. but for real that was cool.

j truitt said...

i would just like to clarify that i was NOT surfing your blog at 6:56 a.m., as my comment would indicate. at that time i was in fact sleeping like the dog i am.

Judas Hate said...

Glad to see you've returned.

I've wondered how you've been doing and if you were still about.

I enjoyed this post and look forward to part 2.

Be well.

Jeremy said...

dang dude. im processing this.... will coment later.

nice...

puergg

heyirishman said...

Keep it comin...

Karyn said...

Thanks so much for the info. I read Piper's work when I first became a Christian, but so much of it was beyond where I was. I feel ready to dive right in. When I went to RBC I learned so much, and I miss that level of regular teaching. I miss Susan Woods making me feel guilty every time I missed a Thursday morning study! I'm hungry, really hungry, and really enjoy getting to know you through your words, and of course the crazyiness revealed on Sam's site. I am blown away by your wisdom as well as your style and humor. I just don't know what I did right to find all this richness right in my own backyard. Thanks and stay in touch. It helps me more than you could ever know!
Karyn

Oldhops said...

Hey nice man, and I finally linked you on my blog so that others may find your stuff.

Oldhops said...

I wish Karyn thought my blog was cool

j truitt said...

i wish Oldhops thought my blog was cool

dan wiggins said...

hey man! glad to see that you are alive and kicking! i look forward to part 2 of this posting...good stuff here!

An Ordinary Christian said...

Very nice post. Nice portrait too. Actually, great post, but only a nice picture (hehe).

Seeker said...

And then what happened...?
Didja stay or didja go?

music.angel said...

Great post Diesel. "holiness over friendship"...oh that we might truly learn this now. And the many opportunities God gives us to put feet to the knowledge that this is what it's really about.

I'd love to hear more about your time on the feild in your posts.

Blessed to serve along side you vandaddy, always blessed.

music.angel said...

so, is Diddy going to follow suit and change up his picture??