Friday, September 9, 2011

Am I a Dissenter?

Paul has some pretty strong words in Titus regarding "leaders" and "rebels".  In chapter 1, here is what The Message paraphrase says:
"Those who were brought up religious and ought to know better are the worst.  They've got to be shut up.  They're disrupting entire families with their teaching, and all for the sake of a fast buck."
In chapter 3 Paul goes on to say:
"Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand.  No insults, no fights.  God's people should be bighearted and courteous." 
Well, I'm not out for a fast buck, if I was I would have enabled the ad feature on my blog.  I do support my leaders in church and in government.  But I have been critical of some of the choices that leadership has made in recent months.  Does that make me a dissenter?  A rabble rouser?   Am I part of the problem?

It's a tough question but I think that we all have to ask ourselves this question every once in awhile.  It can be hard to be objective when you have to examine yourself but I ask myself the question to make sure that my moral compass is on track.  Am I doing what is being asked of me to the very best of my ability?  The whole point of blogging for me is not merely to criticize, condemn and complain but hopefully, to make people think and to inspire and encourage!  Yes, there are things that concern me and I do bring them up on this blog.  But there is so much out there that encourages me and, in my mind, they are stories that need to be shared and told and celebrated!

I look at the words in Joel chapter 2:
"Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters.  Your old men will dream, your young men will see visions.  I'll even pour out my Spirit on the servants, men and women both."
 There is a heart element to this as well.  A spirit element.  I know in my heart and spirit that the time is right to help ordinary people connect with the words.  The Bible is not merely a book.  It is a treasure trove of faith and hope, love and wisdom.   But if people are not being taught how to make the connection to their everyday lives than it has no depth and meaning!  I'm not a minister, nor a theology major, nor a professor.  I'm not a leader in government and I don't lead a church.  In truth, I am overlooked and ignored by these individuals. I'm just an ordinary wife, mother, citizen and an individual who happened to take the Lay Speaking course so I could fill in for the minister if needed or help at church in some way.  There is nothing that marks me as extraordinary or special.  I'm plain ole me.  Nothing more, nothing less.  How could I possibly have anything important to say?

The thing that drives me though, the thing that gets me up every morning and makes me sit here and type, is that I see a need to help others understand that they can make a difference!  Ordinary people, just like me, do have a calling and a purpose-they can have an impact!  And I am driven by the need to help people connect the dots.  Here is this parable, or verse and see how it is very similar to what is going on in our world today?  You can relate to the Bible, you can apply what it says and you can make a difference!  Ordinary people can do extraordinary things!

There is a lot of uncertainty in this world right now.  A lot more questions than answers.  But hope lives!  We need to remind ourselves of that fact every once in awhile!  I think the words from the prophet Joel are true today-I think this is the time when young and old will see visions and dream dreams.  Ordinary folk who will have a vision, make the connection and do what is necessary to fulfill those dreams and visions.  I would love to believe that our leaders will "fix" things and make changes but everything in my being says no.  True vision and true change is going to come from the ranks of everyday people-those individuals who are willing to dream and to work to make change happen.

So, if that makes me a dissenter than so be it.  I pray for my leaders and I hope that wisdom will be their guide.  I know, dear readers, that you hope and pray for the same thing.  But I know that I am called to serve the ordinary.  If one story that I share connects with your spirit and inspires you to go out boldly and do what you can do, to the very best of your ability, then I have done what I have been asked to do.

Take those dreams and visions and run with them my darling friends!  Others may view you as ordinary, but I know that your potential is not ordinary.  Your potential is extraordinary!   I will be here, cheering you on as you go out and change your world for the better!  God bless you for having the courage to use your gifts and talents to make a difference in the world around you!

And to answer my own question, am I a dissenter?  I'm pretty confident, the answer is no.  But I'm glad I asked the question.

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