I remember sitting in my English class the first day of my freshman year of high school. Mrs. Weathorn handed out all of the paperwork, assigned our textbooks, and walked through the syllabus. We had about 20 minutes left in the class period and we all set back waiting for her to launch into Great Expectations with typical English teacher gusto.
Oh, but thats not what happened. Instead we spend the remaining time learning about lightning safety. Where to stand if you are in a field and lighting strikes. Don’t shower during lightning storms because the shock can transfer through the water pipes. Cordless phones are equally as dangerous…who knew?
My whole class sat and listened in a mixture of fascination and horor. Then came the doozie. She told us about the time she was struck by lightning, In the parking lot of our school. It almost killed her. Whoa. We wanted to knew every detail of the story.
Lightning. It’s beautiful, fierce, wild and powerful. Such a display of wonder in the sky. There is another thing I have watched in the sky that is somewhat similar. Fireworks.
Most of us watched those last night during our 4th of July celebrations.
Fireworks are a man-made version of lightning. Beautiful colors, flashes , bangs, people stop to “ooh” and “ahh”. But fireworks are safe. You know exactly where to stand so you can see them, but not get hit. You know when they will start and when they will finish.
Plus, they are usually conveniently located near restrooms and food trucks to make your experience as pleasant as possible.
Where am I going with this? Well, I think I turn God into fireworks sometimes. I like my flashes of light, but only in controlled enviornments. With a clear start and finish time. And a comfortable seat. Surrounded by friends and nice weather. And throw in some BBQ please. I don’t want to live in the supernatural, just watch a bit of spectacular and then go to bed.
Bummer is fireworks don’t change anything. They fizzle out before they hit the ground.
Lightning sparks fires, splits trees, sends waves of electricity through multiple mediums and leaves a visible mark. When God hits us, it doesn’t kill us but rather brings us life. We are marked. We are changed.
There is risk involved because we are not in control of it. When people are hit by lightning they talk about it for years afterwards. Like my teacher- she talks about it to each new class she gets. I have never had a teacher talk to me about a firework show. Thats because they are ‘nice’. They aren’t powerful. They don’t travel through water and metal.
So often I want the pretty looking relationship with God. I want the fireworks show with happy flashes, non-scary booms and the fire that never lands on anyone.
That isn’t what I was made for though. You either. We were made to be hit by ‘lightning’. The supernatural move of God. Marked so deeply that we tell our story to everyone. Not because we are master storytellers, but because the story is that good.
We are meant to risk. To run into spiritual thunderstorms and experience the altering power of Christ. Then be the means by which that power travels.
We were made to live in the daring supernatural,
not just watch the spectacular. —> click to tweet.
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