Chapter 3, Part 1 and 2
NOTE: The following thoughts are not in the book, but are on my heart after hearing this section of the book.
I am an American. First generation. My parents came over from Germany in 1956 to give their children a "better life." They are gone now, and things were good when they left. One son was a boilermaker, married, and had a nice house near theirs. Another son was a machinist, and lived about an hour away in a place on the river. A third son lived about 3 hours away, and was a teacher married to a teacher, with 3 children.
That picture is different now. The first son is divorced. The second committed suicide. One of the children of the third had a few run-ins with the law, but is thankfully now on a better track. The American dream...or is it the price we pay to live in America? And let's not even talk about all the unsettlement with the economy these days. Is the dream becoming a nightmare? If it is, perhaps that is God's grace, reminding us that He is in charge, and that this world does not hold the answers we should be chasing. Yet we still do. Hope of the economic rebound grow. The market is up. Maybe I can still retire...
And what of the church? 9/11 provided a wave of people seeking God. Many went to church, only to find that instead of God, patriotism was preached. I have no problem with being patriotic, but somewhere along the way patriotism became confused with self-sufficiency. God became a spectator and we became the instruments of success.
Church became a spectator sport as well. Some tired to the show, but others soon filled their empty seats. Those who left, often just traded one theater for another. No discipleship. No power of the Holy Spirit. No dependence on God, as budgets were met without a problem. And when budgets started to shrink, luckily we had all those missionaries on budget. We quickly and easily cut their funds, because after all, the show must go on.
Where is the desperation for God? Where is the yearning for His presence? Where is the power of His Holy Spirit? To quote Bono, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for!" But by his grace, I will.