Friday, February 27, 2009

Book I'm reading . . . and wish I hadn't started . . .

I started reading The Fine Line by Kary Oberbrunner last week and am almost finished with it. It is an easy read and I probably could have gotten through it in a day or two, but it goes so deep and has challenged me so much that I have purposely put it down several times to dwell on it. I'll probably do a lot of posts about those lessons over the next few months but there is one that has been on my mind since I was flying back from the Meru customer summit. It is a lesson I first started learning long ago and it seems as I get older it becomes more and more real.

The plane I was on was less than half full and I had the entire row to myself. While reading the book I was in a section called "Safe Isn't Better" and in that section there was a quote from
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I have not thought about it in a while but remember being blown away the first time I read it many many years ago and how much it speaks to me every time I have read it since. I think (and this is just my opinion) that it may be the most accurate description of Jesus in any literature ever written - outside the bible. The scene is when the children are with Mr. & Mrs. Badger. Here goes . . . the story picks up with Lucy asking about Aslan . . .

“Is—is he a man?” asked Lucy.

“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the Great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”

“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

I forgot where I was . . . all I could do was to lift my hands and weep. I'm sure the passengers on the rows behind me thought I was nuts.

"‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” That one line . . . that one line sticks in my mind . . . grabs hold of my soul . . . calls me to Him. It is relentless.

This book may be the most challenging book I have ever read (at least in the last 10 years). It challenges me to step up and to step out of my comfort zone. I'm afraid of walking the fine line . . . I know I'll screw up . . . I much prefer being in the camp with the conformist . . . or even back in the other camp I use to live in when I was a young man . . . the separatist . . . there is safety in those camps. Living as a transformist puts me smack in the middle of all kinds of things that can get me in trouble. But I know too that living as a transformist is the only way to actually have true impact on those around me. I say my passion is reaching the unchurched . . . the ONLY way I will EVER be able to have true impact in living out that passion is by doing it as a transformist. Living as a transformist requires work. How am I going to do this? I really don't know . . . but I know He is not safe and He calls me to be like Him . . . and I know He is good and He calls me to be like Him. I'm on the jouney of learning to be in the world but not of it . . . not a safe place.

So why do I wish I had not read this book? Because ignorance is bliss. God has used that book to speak to me and motivate me but I also no longer have any excuses . . . I must take action.

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