July 02, 2007

Booby Prizes and the Holy Spirit

This post will be two-fold, but I think it sort of ties in together.

Lately, I've formed the habit of not sleeping. On this particular morning, this habit provided me with the opportunity to dig into God's word by light of the sunrise. Unfortunately, my Bible was not in my bedroom, and at 5 AM, I really didn't feel like venturing outside and waking up my parents, as well as my puppy, I scanned my prolific bookshelves for a Bible or any book that might contain large chunks of scripture.

I picked up a book that I found at a book fair when I was about 11 years old. It was published in 1965, and is entitled "Going Steady With God." It is a one-year devotional plan for teenage girls, but there is a lot of scripture in it, so I thought I would at least start in July and read four or five pages. I was surprised to find an in-depth look at the workings of the Holy Spirit after the day of Pentecost, as well as some incredibly outdated lingo and anecdotes. One of these anecdotes really jumped out at me.
"Once when I was your age I was at a Sunday school party where we were asked to name all the parts of a car. I got the booby prize because I named everything but the engine! Many Christians today need to be given the booby prize. They name everything about the Christian life and everything about the Church except the power, the dynamo!"

I still have a smile on my face from this excerpt from the book. Despite the obviously 60's overtones, Anna Mow had one thing right-- most Christians DO deserve the booby prize. In today's ministries, the movement of the Holy Spirit is left out, ignored, or never even taught.

This brings me to the second part of the post. I randomly check some part-time job listings on snagajob.com, just in case I ever feel like being employed by another person again. Today, I really identified with one of their promotional strategies.

In a modern, program driven church, it is REALLY easy to find a place to plug in and serve, much like it is easy to find a minimum wage job. However, the Holy Spirit is rarely involved in this process. We take our multiple choice personality test, run it through the system, and pair ourselves with what we seem to be best suited for. But, all too often, when we try to work outside our gifting and outside of the leading of the Holy Spirit, things get awkward, much like the photos above. I have known many lifeguards working in mail rooms, and jockeys working on cattle ranches, and I have definitely known some mechanics who were placed into jobs at trendy boutiques.
This is all metaphorical, of course, but when who we are doesn't jive with what we are doing for Christ, we aren't reaching our full potential. We aren't accessing the dynamo of the Christian faith, or the powerhouse of the Church-- the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

1 comment:

Bob Carder said...


You must keep writing this is right on. Wonder why people cannot see the terrific need for the Holy Spirit? Why or how can someone so important be left out of the Church the Body of Christ?

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