I want to be the kind of person who finishes well. I'm much less concerned with where I've been, compared to where I'm going. I want to surround myself with people who have a strong sense of being fully present in the now, while focusing on the journey.
Yesterday I spent some time with an old friend, Pastor John Brown. After taking some time to catch up on (things), he shared with me what is happening in his world...
John is 72 years old. He "retired" from being a Senior Pastor last year, but he's never been more engaged in living the gospel of Jesus. On Monday, he is leaving for Nicaragua on a solo excursion to the remote villages of the otherwise forgotten. This will have been his third trip to this community this year! He shared with me his agenda:
I asked for more clarification. He explained that in a recent conversation with some of the village leaders, John asked his friends what their needs were. Physical, tangible needs. The elders of the village expressed a great concern for the children of this Nicaraguan village. During the rainy season, the children are forced to endure torrential downpour, navigating their way through the mudslides and trails of the mountains. Their round-trip journey to their school house can be fraught with peril, and the children do not have appropriate footwear.
So the parents are requesting a miracle; praying that Jesus will show up with rubber boots.
John is heading down there alone, this time. He is staying in a youth hostel in the capital city. His plan is to buy out all of the rubber boots in the region, and somehow transport them to his friends.
Because the gospel is more than just holding a tent meeting and singing, "Just As I Am", and having people say a prayer.
The gospel is also about rubber boots. The good news of the Kingdom of Heaven is about the invasion of mercy to the remote corners of the earth's end. It is about the authority of God crashing in to the kitchen table in your own home, as well as the overthrow of injustice on the other side of the world. It is more than theory, or doctrine, creeds and confession; the good news of the Kingdom is a 72 year-old man, trekking through the jungle with a suitcase full of rubber boots.