Nov. 17, 2016

Silly Questions

I figured out many years ago that I am different. I was born and raised in Pasadena but I don’t like football. I didn’t go to a rodeo until I was 40 years old and didn’t care for it very much once I did. I was chastised for cheering for the calves during the calf scramble.

I don’t drink beer; never have. I didn’t taste beer until I was well into my 50’s. Now, wine and margaritas? You got it. But, I’m not sure those are solely Texas things.

I love Texas. I love the Hill Country. I love Big Bend. I love the Davis Mountains. I love the Gulf Shores. I love the Texas Piney Woods. I love the history in Austin and San Antonio.  I think Dallas and Houston offer a glance at big-city life without taking you too far from home. There is nothing like sitting in Palo Dura Canyon watching nature do its thing.

Yep. I love Texas.

I don’t fit in well in Texas because I am not a staunch Republican nor am I a devoted Democrat. I’m me. I think like me. I talk like me. I write like me. I try to do all these things with God’s permission and for His glory. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I don’t. I think that is something I have in common with people everywhere.

Someone ask me the other day, “Do you want President Trump to fail?” I have to tell you that is probably the silliest question I have heard in my life. If you think a) anything I post or write is focusing on politics, then I have failed miserably; b) I had a horse in this race this election season, you haven’t been paying attention. My concern is not about President Trump. My greatest concern is about Christ’s witness in our world.

President Trump will do fine. He will have experience people around him. I may not agree with everything he does or says (he hasn’t made too many brownie points with me and he hasn’t even been sworn in, yet) but I will be an American. In America, just like in Texas, we are not clones of one another. In Christ, we are a kingdom together and God needs His kingdom workers focusing on His kingdom. That’s my concern.

There are times I don’t like the awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. President Trump creates an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach, but it is most likely because I don’t see him as unifying or diplomatic. That doesn’t make him wrong but it doesn’t mean I want him to fail. Why would I want our President to fail? That’s just dumb.

Another silly question, “Do you think you are better than the rest of us?” Uh, the answer to that would be no. As the Apostle Paul said, I am the greatest of sinners. Paul and I have a lot in common – he isn’t very Texan either. Paul said at one point that whatever he tried not to do, he found himself doing. When he tried to do the right thing, he found himself failing (see Romans 7:19). God’s strength carries us in our weakness. His grace is sufficient to move you over my failures and to get me out from under them. Please stop looking at me or Donald Trump. Please look to Jesus.

My spiritual gifts are prophecy and edification. I speak God’s truth with boldness and yes I realize that some of my own stuff gets thrown into the mix from time to time. I promise you because I’ve promised Him that I will admit when my stuff snuffs out His meaning. I can honestly tell you that while I don’t always say things perfectly, He is perfect. He wants us clinging to Him and Him alone. He wants us dependent on Him and Him alone. He wants us to work until He comes back to get us.

That’s His message through me. If that’s not what you’re hearing, then that which I tried to do I am apparently not doing. Edification in the Church isn’t a call to make the Church feel good and proud of itself. The spiritual gift of edification is one of building up Christ’s Body. I don’t give motivational speeches all the time. Sometimes it is a come-to-Jesus meeting. My highest calling is to encourage everyone to come to Jesus. Quite frankly, neither President Trump nor any other President really has much to do with that part of my life.