Thursday, June 01, 2006

In the outskirts.

Sometimes, the Christian faith is said to be a special race- where everyone who participates in it has awfully good reasons to believe that he will be a winner at the finish line. Now, this race is also special for many other reasons. One of them, particularly; is that no one runs alone spiritually.

They will eventually run in a fellowship of faith, for this is to be the will of The Race Organiser. One can always count on another to remind him of that glorious vision of the heavenly gates swung open to him, should he become disheartened in the middle of the blessed journey.

Which is why, it is difficult, even sinister to think that running together can be hazardous to spiritual health. After all, are we not members of the family of God and therefore, must be seen as a community that embodies the essence of a Triune God?

Forbid it, that this should be disputable. The actual point to ponder is the great danger that we are in, at turning the walls of our church into an exclusive Christian La-La-Land; and running among ourselves within the perimeters of that land. The Christian La-La-Land; by any other name, is a walled piece of land confined in its comforts, which we must realize to be very, very far away from the world that we are called to live in.

Take, for instance; the Christian Fellowship meetings held in colleges and universities. It is a great avenue to serve God, no doubt about it. The musicians can always use an extra guitarist, the ushers another usher. Service in the Christian fellowship unearths gifts, cultivates generosity, sparks spiritual friendships but most of all, enhances worship to God. But all these, can also be convincing excuses for us to stay snugly in the comforts of a very familiar, Christian surrounding.

Strangely, many Christians believe that the potentials of good service to mankind can only be thoroughly polished on “Christian avenues”- the neighbourhood church, the youth fellowship or the Christian charity organization.

To begin with, surroundings are strangely segregated, turning some into very popular ministry grounds (like music and teaching Sunday school) and others, less desirable (such as ministering to the community living in slump areas and also to politicians). What is obvious about this segregation of ministries is that, the filthier the ground is; the less likely we want to touch it.

But, what we may have forgotten is that filth is often very good breeding ground, and open ground gives way to growth. Would we rather be a mere tulip which blooms only once a year in a green house, than a huge and sturdy rain tree in the vast jungle, that gives shade and home to flocks of birds all year round?

Choosing an avenue to serve is very much like choosing either to become a tulip or a rain tree. But, the basis of choosing is just as simple as this- what does God want us to be?

If not a thumbreath of this universe is not Christ’s, then we should be, as true servants of Christ, planting flagpoles on hostile grounds- the newsroom, the parliament, the Inland Revenue Board, even the car salesman’s office as well.

Only then, shall we be truly the light of the world and the salt of the earth.