3D, 3D, 3D I repeated in my head as I hurried in the direction of the terminal that I have been frequenting more regularly this past 12 months. Does my parking ticket have 3D on it? No! How the heck would the machine have any idea what section of the Big Blue garage at Metro Airport I intended to park? Come ‘on Matt, get with it! As I worked to log into my brain where I had parked, my bare hand felt around in my jacket pocket for my boarding pass… what the? I swear I put it in this pocket. With slight panic trying to creep from my neurons to my muscles I internally took control and rationalized. Stop, drop, roll. You’re not on fire dude, just retrace your steps. God, let me have dropped this thing close to here. The panic subsided as quickly as it set in as I knelt down and checked the small piece of thin paper on the cold cement for my birth name. Phew. Let’s go.
Hurry up and wait. My tired brain was taking in the people around me, wondering how early they had woke this morning since I was up at a street-lit 3:45am to catch this flight to Tampa. Holy Spirit, let my sail be up, help me to hear Your voice today and give me the boldness and courage to share my story and Yours with whomever You choose. It was a pretty quiet group of strangers this morning, and they didn’t look like engaging over the weather or other polite conversational pieces. I found my seat and chatted briefly with the lady across the aisle from me. Once my bag was tucked neatly below the seat in front of me, I reflected on the fact that this was not a Spirit Airline flight—there were actual TVs on each seat back and free snacks! I had all but forgotten the luxury of even coach on Delta, then remembered, I left my headphones behind. Really Matt? Standard protocol. No sooner had I mentally kicked myself had a stewardess approached me in route from the passenger before and asked, “Do you need complimentary headphones?”
“Thank you so much,” I replied taking the small, neatly packaged earbuds from her hand, quickly spinning the square package around to read the title on the charcoal plastic: PLUG IN | TUNE OUT. Well, if that doesn’t describe our cultural zombie state of affairs, I don’t know what does!
A week later, too lazy to go upstairs to fetch my duct-taped bound Bible, I opened my Bible app to Exodus and read chapters 3-4. I had to stop at 4:13, reread it and wondered, Moses really said that? “But Moses said, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.'” Look at this guy! Moses just finished dropping his staff on the ground and YHVH turns it into a snake, then tells him to pick it up by the tail? When Moses obeys it turns back into a staff. Then, Moses sees his hand turn leprous and then back to normal in a brief wide-eyed moment, and if that’s not enough of a sign that YHVH is with him on his mission to go to Pharoah, is promised that a pitcher of water from the Nile will become blood if he pours it out on the ground. After all that, he looks at the bush that is on fire but not being consumed, and says “Thanks, but no thanks.”
I’m in this position right now where I know that I need to be out sharing my faith more and being bold for the kingdom of God. Jesus, after telling His disciples to go and make more disciples, teaching them all that He has commanded them (including the command to go and make disciples), tells them directly in Acts 1:8 that “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” If we fear man, judgement for our beliefs, or find ourselves on the chopping block; Jesus again speaks to His disciples in Luke 12:11-12 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” If this is not enough, Moses, forty years after his personal encounter with YHVH at that burning bush; after all that he has gone through and personal fears to overcome, says to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:8 “And YHVH, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
Can I be absolutely real? I am a Christian, for Pete’s sake! I believe in what the Bible says, all those promises I wrote down, and yet I look back at the Creator of the universe when He gives me a command to go and tell the world about the news of His Son, His grace and love for humanity and I say, “Thanks, but no.” Or, “Thanks for the offer, I’ll dabble just a bit, no need to throw down my staff because frankly, that would scare the crap out of me to see it turn into a cobra or something.” Who the heck am I? Moses eventually obeys through the midst of his fear and God uses this man to part the Red Sea–absolutely incredible! So, what line have I drawn in the sand to say, “This far but no more?”
We live in a culture that is so plugged into the internet, that we have tuned out the people around us. The people around us—in line at the store, our actual physical neighbors, our teachers and co-workers—this is our field that as Christ-followers we are supposed to be spreading the good news. It will most likely take more than inviting them to the annual outreach service at your church, or making sure that you don’t swear around them. Be bold, throw down your staff and trust God to do something amazing! Are you afraid? I am, but thank God I am not alone, let’s go out and make an impact together. Call me… for real. Let’s pray about this and move forward to unplugging from ourselves and tuning in to what YHVH has for our lives. Seriously.