We left off discussing my mission statement last week after a stimulating post on the word "stimulating." Well, at least the 3.2 faithful readers thought it was. Or maybe they didn't either. Okay, so I like the word, and maybe it's just me.
As a refresher, my whole statement of personal mission is "stimulating redemptive living and kingdom investment." Let me share a few thoughts about my choice of the word "redemptive."
The world is broken. My kids are broken. POTUS and the Speaker of the House, they're broken. Miley Cyrus is broken (obvious after last night). So is Billy Graham (much less obvious but still true).
I am broken. Very broken. At the heart of my very being, I am not who I was created to be. I'm chipped, cracked and falling apart in places. And so are you.
And when a bunch of us broken people get together, the brokenness that can show up is like the running of the bulls.
The Bible uses (often maligned) words like "sin" and "transgression" and "flesh" to describe this brokenness in both people and communities. We tend to think that this is just a bunch of rules a vindictive God enacted to keep us in line, like the IRS or something. Are there some rules? Of course there are. But the real goal of all that religious talk about sin and holiness, is packed into the word "living." But I'm getting ahead of myself, that's the next conversation.
But today, it's the brokenness. Because the brokenness can--and hopefully will in you and me and my kids and Miley Cyrus--lead to redemption. Redemption is the buying back of something, the regaining of something lost.
During our semi-annual gathering at my cousin's ranch, we often drive into town and hit up a pawn shop. You ever wandered around one of those, wondering what the story is behind each piece? What prompted a person to need the cash over that record, that piece of furniture, that power tool? What would make a man sell a family heirloom watch for a few bucks? What motivates a man to sell his birthright for a bowl of stew?
How could someone sell out his rabbi for 30 pieces of silver?
I have sold out my own birthright, my own soul, for the sake of a few somethings. And it broke me, shattered my soul. Every time. And even though I walked past that pawn shop window day after day after day, leaning on the glass so close I could see my breath clouding my reflection, I had nothing to buy it back.
Nothing. I had no redeeming value. Until...
Until the One who loved me most redeemed me. Bought me back. Restored my soul.
I'm broken, but I'm redeemed.
And one day I'll be restored, but that's a future conversation.