Here's another peek into my heart: There's only about three or four people who I would sit at their feet and listen to whatever they wanted to talk about. (Heck, I'd probably take notes.) There's David Olshine; my mentor from college, Katie Edwards; the big sister I never knew I wanted, and Rob Bell. (I have a couple more, but I won't bore you with a list.) Rob Bell is the teaching pastor at a church called Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, MI. I first heard him (and OF him) at Willow Creek's student ministries conference in 2003. Instantly, I felt a connection, and wanted to hear more.
Most people would say that they've had a teacher over the course of their life that, for some reason or another, they learned more from because of their style, manner, or whatever you want to call it. When it comes to learning about God, Rob Bell is it for me. I could listen for hours...days even. Seriously...give me some Dr. Pepper, some PB&J, and a bed pan and I'm good to go. (Sorry. That might have been gross to some of you.) I've been downloading Rob's sermons from his church's website for about a year now. (Check it out! www.mhbcmi.org) He even produces and teaches in a set of short length videos that are kind of like music videos...of sermons. (Sorry. That's the best way i can describe them!) They're at www.nooma.com
So, needless to say: when I heard that Rob was coming out with a book, I pre-ordered a copy. I've been reading it for the past week or so. Yesterday, I came across a passage that struck me.
Some of you will say "Duh!" to this.
Let me just type it out for you:
Is the greatest truth about Adam and Eve and the fruit that it happened, or that it happens? This story, one of the first in the Bible, is true for us because it is our story. We have all taken the fruit. We have all crossed boundaries. We have all made decisions to do things our way and then looked back and said to ourselves, What was I thinking?...Their story is our story. We see ourselves in them...It is an accurate description of how life is...
Here is another example: The Israelites leave the kingdom of Egypt where they are slaves, and God brings them into freedom.
For many of us, that is our story. We were in darkness and God brought us out. And we continue to identify areas of darkness in our lives, and God continues to bring us out....
It happened then; it happens now.
How is it that a book written over 2,000 years ago on another continent, by people who are long since dead, speak so personally to me? Because it is about me. The stories aren't just campfire entertainment, they’re biographical accounts of people who encountered the same struggles, joys, victories, and defeats that I do everyday.
I’m a pastor. Maybe I shouldn't be impacted by something like “The Bible is alive, or filled with stuff that applies to your life, and should be important to you.” But I am (impacted). I’ve prayed for three years for God to instill in me a hunger for His word. Not to say that I wasn’t interested. Just not passionate. I feel like this is the beginning of a grand adventure.
So, maybe today you can read all about you…