I got to go to the I.O.U.S.A. live premiere in Omaha last week with my close friend and One Horizon co-worker Jon Carnes. It was a really fascinating and challenging experience for me. I think that the movie turned out really well and the critical reviews have generally been quite positive. It is neat to think that we played an important part in helping to get that project going. The filmmakers really stuck it out through some tough times and ultimately did an excellent job of breaking down a very difficult topic into an understandable format. They all deserve a lot of credit. I want to thank them for their efforts. Also, I want to thank the folks from our community who made the effort to make it to the viewing here in Lexington and for the positive feedback that they had about the movie. It was a honor for me to be able to represent One Horizon (and our community) at this event; but the best part about it was being able to come home to this community with an ever deepening appreciation for the quality of the life that we share and the sincere effort that we're making to grapple with the tough questions of our time. To be sure, we've got a long way to go yet, and hopefully we always will; but I am thankful to God that we're bearing some good fruit and beginning to find some neat ways to share that with others.
Overall, the last week has reminded me of how poor my own faith is and how my faulty faith weakens my own vision of the Kingdom of God and my expectation for its coming. I often lose hope and succumb to discouragement. I let go far too easily of what I (say I) believe and have experienced to be true about Jesus. I look out at the world and I see that we're not only drowning in debt.....we're drowning in a roiling ocean of manifold human shit. I want to give up. I've been reflecting on this and opened the scriptures today to search for the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector. I felt like I really needed to read this story. Anyhow, I happened to open my bible right to the very page where Luke records this story...a coincidence, undoubtedly. Well, I read this story...and the one right before it....sobering....and very hopeful...indicative of who we are on our best days...agitators:
"One day Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must never give up. 'There was a judge in a certain city' he said, 'who was a godless man with great contempt for everyone. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, appealing for justice against someone who had harmed her. The judge ignored her for a while, but eventually she wore him out. 'I fear neither God nor man,' he said to himself, 'but this woman is driving me crazy. I'm going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!'
Then the Lord said, 'Learn a lesson from this evil judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end, so don't you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who plead with him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when I, the Son of Man, return, how many will I find who have faith (Luke 18:1-8)."