It is ironic that I am typing this message on a laptop using free wifi at a Starbucks after spending $5 on a mocha. The only thing I'm missing is a prime location. I'm not sure where I went wrong in my service. This year has been a year of conviction. In the world, I am the 1%. I am the rich man. I am a rich American. I alone make more than twice the national average for household income in the US, therefore my wife can stay home. We live comfortably. We are on track to send our kids to expensive private school. Our house will be paid off in the next 3-5 years. We have a net-worth of a little under 250k. We're doing good. I'm not sure that's the way my life was intended to be lived out. I believed the messages of "needing" Christians who work among the lost but today I am questioning. What really has been gained from that? Have I bought into a well funded and popular lie?
I've always had a passion for those who were hungry or didn't have clean water. I've often thought, I would love to GO, live with and help people learn farming techniques or build wells and clean septic systems or preserve water. I am burdened at the knowledge of people dying from starvation or that their day was devoted to "surviving," that is finding water and food. Each day, working for these things. Vacation days don't exist when you're work is finding your meals. Animals live this way.
In the spring, I competed in several races with the intent to win the races. I trained hard. I spend hours pushing myself, I ate very well. Choice foods and only ate poorly on occasion. I medaled in all three events. One event, where I placed 2nd mostly because it was a tiny race, happened to be hosted by a previous employer. I saw many old friends and co-workers, several of which commented about their surprise at my "success" and current job. One person commented, "that's not what I expected." I knew instantly what he, an atheist, meant. Everyone, thought I was going to go into full-time ministry when I resigned that position. I questioned him, hoping I was wrong.
Fast forward to today, as I was chatting with a co-worker about the Occupy Austin people, talking about how homeless they appear. We agreed,their appearance, was not helping their cause. Instead, it created a large disconnect even with those who sympathize with their message. Many people think they are ridiculous and largely ignore them as they walk by. It lead me to make the statement that I don't believe in anything strong enough to do something like that. Instantly, and I mean instantly I felt conviction.
The really ironic part is that I've long held the belief we have these near religious movements, like Occupy, or Sea Shepherds, etc., etc., solely because Christians have not stood up for these ideas as good stewards of God's creation and instead have been branded as the opposite. Creating a situation that does not lend itself to the message of Christ. Instead of the Church standing UP for OR standing IN for the needs of society and the fight for justice, we've largely let secular groups and governments do the fighting.
Occupy protesters may look ridiculous and seem fanatical but I know they BELIEVE completely in their cause. My well dressed co-worker might agree with them wholeheartedly but I don't see her passion lived out. There is little sacrifice and so her belief in the cause has little impact on me. Occupy has garnered much attention. So now, I sit hear pondering everything. Whether or not I would endure the scorn of passersby, or nature's elements in a near homeless state to Occupy Austin for Christ? Would I give up my goals for a GOOD private education for my children? A debt free life, so insuranced up that I have little to fear financially from catastrophe? Do I give up my fitness goals and my love of WholeFoods for cheaper, lesser, non-organic foods? Do I sell everything and give it to the poor? Will my children look enviously at what their lives could have been? Do I lead a life where I meet every need I encounter with every resource I have been given in the proclamation of Christ?
To be brutally honest, it is easier for me to accept dying for Christ than to Occupy the World for the Gospel of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:15