I’ve just watched Avatar. Somewhere high above the Sahara I’m sitting in an air conditioned plane whilst 30000 ft below me people are existing in a very different world. Makes you think doesn’t it?? The plot of avatar is where an alien outsider defends and protects a race of native people. the question of the main characters identity is one of the main plots of the film.
I feel that I may have made one big mistake in the last few months. I’ve stayed in the UK too long. I foresaw the problems it may for cause me. getting settled has a definite downside if you ate a little nomadic. I thought I ought to stay this long, however maybe things would have been ok I I didn’t? I’ve got used to the way of life, friends and everything that makes me feel normal. Now flying above Africa heading back to where I once belonged I feel strange, homeless and a little anchorless.
This isn’t simply about moving geographical location. No for me it’s more than that. This is about who I am. This is about what I am.
Somewhere in my heart I hope that real growth is taking place. the last few weeks have been a real test of my trust in God. One thing I have learnt the hard way though is to obey that still small voice that guides my heart. I’ve learnt to fight the paralysis of fear and doubt that grip us and bind us in the darkness of normality. I try not to listen to the voice at the back of my head that tells me that I may just have got it wrong this time. Over all of that I have left my country, despite it all. That’s faith. Doing it.
Yet I fear about what I will become, I fear about what i will have to do to follow and accomplish what God has called me to. make no mistake about it, I really do believe that I see a coming wave of Gods Spirit in rural Africa. I really do believe that God will move thousands and that a real change will happen, real transformation will occur. Yet who will I be at the end of this? Where will home be? Where will my friends and colleagues be? These are questions at the core of who I am and yet in working these questions out I will decide if I am Gods man or my man.
There are those that believe the gospel in Africa has already won and that the battle for hearts and minds is in a clearing up stage. I believe it is only just begining. 150 years of imperial Christianity has left us a legacy of power bases syncretism and a poverty of hope in the rural areas that is palpable. it is time for those who this world overlooks to rise in power love and the Spirit, that God will shame the wise things of his world by using the “foolish” things. The gospel has only scratched the surface the best is yet to come.
The most noble part of me wants to take the fight to the enemy with as many people as I can muster. The most ignoble part wants to run hide and live my life in denial of what I am and who i am called to be.
The fact is I’ve been called to be a bearer of this, that the one and only Jesus Christ died for the sins of many and through him we not only find life individually, we also find it in community and that life will last forever and ever. Secularism would love to take africa, Islam would dearly love to take africa. religious christianity would love to take africa. No Jesus himself wants Africa, he wants to save those whom he loves so that they can live forever and love one another.
Compared to that, who I am and what I am is immaterial. For your glory Lord I will try to do all things, be all things and endure all things that they may know you. that’s got to be my prayer. There is no point otherwise.
6 hrs time I touch down. As soon as I stepped on the plane, the decision of who I could be was taken. Now let’s see if I can follow through.