Wednesday, October 05, 2005

High Noon Moments, Part Deux

I had an email on this subject that I think speaks more eloquently than can I. Let me share it with you and hear from you about whether or not this strikes a chord in your heart:

"I've thought about your call for "high noon" stories over the past couple of days. the one resounding thought is how few of these stories come to mind. I can remember a few minor ones like when I gave a pro-life speech in a class my senior year of high school. But that was really no big deal -- I wasn't persecuted for it. It shouldn't even be considered a major event. I remember confronting my high school football coach my junior year. However, I don't know that I did it for Jesus as much as for myself. The fact was that his form of motivation (swearing endlessly and belittling you when you screwed up) didn't motivate me, and I wanted him to stop it. It actually worked and his vocabulary towards me changed, but it didn't change towards the rest of the team. Once again, not really a "high noon" moment, but more a moment of me overcoming fear and facing a perceived foe.

"So here I am. I've been a baptized believer since I was 14 years old. Next March will be the 19th anniversary of this event. More importantly, I knew Jesus long before I was baptized as a teenager... So the question I keep asking myself is WHY: Why don't I have more stories like this packed into my Christian journey of faith? What have I really done for Jesus over the last 20 or so years? I've done a lot of "good" things, but these are things that I probably would have done whether or not I knew Christ. They were morally motivated. In other words, they were things that any "good" person would do. They were not things that stand out and say, "I'm different because of Christ!" I'm left with the impression that I'm really a big wimp. I want to be a MAN for Christ, but wimp is what rises to the surface.

"I speak to my children about persecuted Christians. Since I can remember, I've tried to remind myself that I am raising them to be martyrs for the Lord. I don't just mean martyrs in some abstract sense, but actual martyrs who will choose to give their earthly life for our King. More importantly, I try to teach them that living for Him is more of a task at times than actually dying for Him. I teach this but I question whether I am living it.

"More than "high noon" stories, I am reminded of several times when I stood at the crossroads and chose the path of least resistance. These were not monumental moments when I had a gun to my head and [was] asked to deny Jesus or take a bullet. I actually think I would make the right decision in that circumstance. However, it's the little choices that I've let slide by. I'm often prompted to pray for someone I barely know. Instead of immediately praying for them, I talk myself out of it and say that I will pray silently, or pray later, or question how they might respond if my prayers aren't answered in the way that is desired. Other times the Lord will call me to give money or something of value to someone and I dismiss it as some emotional response. I rationalize how it wouldn't be prudent to give money to a person who would not use it correctly. (Like it's actually mine to determine how it is used -- It's God's -- given to me by grace only) Or how about the times when I'm in a conversation with people who don't know the Lord or are at least not speaking in a manner that shows they know Him? Many times I have let conversations continue down wrong paths -- never sharing the gospel -- never letting them know that I am a fanatical follower of Christ! I keep quiet in order to avoid conflict.

"What if it was by Divine appointment that these people crossed my path? What is the message I had to share was their last opportunity to hear the good news?... What if the impracticality of my money gift "in the name of Jesus" actually broke down a wall that previously separated them from His love? What if I actually chose to enter into conflict with my brother/sister and it helped saved their marriage? How many opportunities have I wasted?

"Looking back I see that my fear of man surpasses my fear of God in most situations. But today is a new day! This is a new season of life. The old is past and today I have a choice. A new chance to stand up for Jesus! I recently ended a fast and the overwhelming message I received from the Lord was what Samuel spoke to Saul, "To obey is better than sacrifice!" I was bombarded by this message every single day of my fast. the Lord was and is calling me to obedience. he could care less about my sacrifices. He wants me to jump when he says jump and shut when when He says shut up. I am to obey Him in the little things, as well as the big, in the silly, as well as the sane, in the loud, as well as the quiet, in the things done before the eyes of man, as well as those done in secret. Over the past few weeks I've done some strange and wonderful things just because the Lord told me to. None of these would qualify as "High Noon" moments, but perhaps they are preparing me for future "High Noon" moments. I certainly hope so. I pray that I will be obedient in the little, so I will have no choice but to be obedient in the big! I was to be a man like David -- a man "after God's own heart." I don't want to be a disappointment, a wasted life, a wimp, a self-serving egotist, an unrepentant fool, etc. (you get the idea)....."

I think my brother's email is brilliant. What do you think? Share your stories, comments, and insights. Another High Noon column is coming in a few days.

11 Comments:

At 10/05/2005 02:45:00 PM , Blogger David U said...

I know I feel like he was writing MY story! Maybe others feel that way too. I take heart in the fact that great people of faith had "high-noon" moments, and failed......but God still loved them and used them later on. Peter is the first example I think of. David is another.

And this David is another!

 
At 10/06/2005 08:35:00 AM , Blogger Steve Duer said...

Hey, who is reading my mind and putting it in an email to send to you?????

Wow - that is some open, honest stuff.

 
At 10/06/2005 10:51:00 AM , Blogger Cheetah, the cheetah said...

Wow, I am touched at the honest way the writer opened his heart and at his determination to be more than he is. It's a little cliche, but when at a crossroads I ask myself which way would seek the Kingdom. The direction to go very often quickly becomes clear.

 
At 10/06/2005 11:40:00 AM , Blogger Chalmers said...

What a great message. There are many more missed high noon stories in my experiences. Times when I almost had to bite my own tongue so I wouldn't say the right thing! Imagine how much futher along I would be if I found it so hard to say the wrong thing...

 
At 10/06/2005 11:45:00 AM , Blogger Debi said...

Wow! This writer was in my mind too! Thanks for the honesty and candidness.

God is working on me right now through this blog posting ... thank you!!

 
At 10/06/2005 01:46:00 PM , Blogger Keith Brenton said...

There are two related issues dealt with in the e-mail - "High Noon" moments and sacrificial living.

Sometimes we're not called upon to live a lot of "High Noon" moments because we are doing precisely what we're supposed to do: live our lives quietly and modestly, without being obnoxious for Christ. Most of those around us respect that kind of life, and watch their own actions and tongues as a result. They may act differently when we're not around, but we're leading lives of Christly influence.

And that is a kind of sacrificial living, too - we don't do it to pursue what we want in our lives, but what Christ wants. We don't see it making a big difference in others' lives, but I don't think we should completely discount the effect it DOES have.

 
At 10/06/2005 05:09:00 PM , Blogger Laurie said...

Patrick,

Great email and a very good writer. I think that's one of the things that gets hard for me sometimes, is that often I should have stood for more, or been more knowledgeable, or stronger or some other thing that I wish I could have done for the Lord. I have been listening to some testimonies given at Celebrate Recovery services here and as odd as it sounds I want to hear the story of someone who became a Christian at a young age and stayed that way. Just a thought.

love in Jesus.

 
At 10/06/2005 10:53:00 PM , Blogger Niki said...

I think going out and looking for "High Noon moments" can be being obnoxious for Jesus. Is it possible that not everyone is meant to have them? Sometimes we're called to stand up, and sometimes we're called to yeild. I think your emailing friend spoke the minds and hearts of many. I love the verse he used and I think he's right on. Obedience is the key. Thanks for the Part Deux!

 
At 10/07/2005 08:22:00 AM , Blogger PatrickMead said...

You make a valid point. During our CNX service on Wednesday we stressed that a High Noon moment is not to be confused with a selfish, self-centered, or obnoxious moment. It is a time when you must be willing to stand alone for the sake of the Lord, for truth, even if it costs you everything and gains you nothing. Some might think that fighting for their favorite worship style is High Noon when it is really High Farce. In a couple of days I'll give you some examples of High Noon moments that should clear up the difference between selflessness and selfishness.

 
At 10/07/2005 12:19:00 PM , Blogger Laurie said...

Hi there Patrick:

I suspect one key to "high noon" moments is that you really don't realize they are at the moment, because the battle inside is raging.

wondering.

Laurie

 
At 10/07/2005 04:44:00 PM , Blogger DJG said...

I could say ditto to this

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home