I have always had this dream of getting so heated up during a sermon that i’d throw a bible off the podium. Yes, it’s ridiculous, but it was the goal of my preaching. In my head, it would shock the congregation into weeping confession and passionate action. Yeah i know. Ridiculously conceited. It was the goal… but I always stopped myself. It just seemed to gratuitous, and I felt if I needed to throw the Bible, it had better be important.
Today I threw a bible while preaching today. I blame it on not having enough coffee to maintain self-control. I just got a little… heated. And before you know it, a black, leather bound book was leaving my hands at speeds probably near 45 miles per hour. And then it hit somebody. Good thing it was a high schooler. And for some reason, it didn’t have the rush I imagined it would have. However, I believe the high schooler the bible hit had quite a rush :).
haha. I’ll have to work on my throwing bible move. And think of a better move than throwing a bible for dramatic effect. I wonder what my next gratuitous preaching move will be. Perhaps it will involve a hammer, a bucket and a glass of water (If you’re from my SYS 1 class from NISET, you’ll know what i mean by that). Upon reflecting on that moment, I have been thinking about over-using illustrations or over-stimulating people in a sermon. I’d rather God hit somebody, not my Bible. But deep inside, I enjoyed catching that attention. God was perhaps shaking his head in amusement at my horrible attempt at imitating his wrath… with a book thrown at a high schooler. Hopefully Jesus will forgive me for my meddlings.
In more serious matters, I spoke at a chinese church today (Lord’s Grace Church San Diego). This was the first time I had the oppurtunity to publicly articulate the journey God has been taking me on to a Chinese audience. It was really good to publicly talk about it in front of an audience. Not only was it a good time of preaching, it was a good oppurtunity to think about where God has taken me this past year… and perhaps my life.
When I think about how God took me from wanting be a missionary at 5… and then my ethnic journey of me dreaming of being a missionary in any place of the world but China–> God humbling me on a missions trip to actually care about Chinese people as my own people–>wanting to see chinese people transform the world (back to jerusalem, baby!)–>realizing that meant I had to change it right here at my front doorstep, and it’d be a shame if i could not love my neighbor if I wanted to see entire nations transformed.
Strange windy path that somehow makes sense. It felt good to put it out there. It’s sometimes hard to explain it, because I just haven’t had the chance to. It’s worse when somebody is expecting an answer on why I’m at MiraCosta in perhaps 3 minutes, when I really need 35 minutes to explain it. And it has nothing to do with my long-windedness. It’s just that I really did not make a rash decision. It was an elaborate, methodological, strategic and heartfelt journey that God has taken me on and is still taking me on.
I feel like i’ve gone so far. And just like my silly throwing of bibles, I’m realizing my original goals were just too far, because God can achieve them in an instant. What i thought were goals were just trailhead markers for a trail towards an ominous but beautiful mountain. It’s time to tighten those laces, check my Northface camel back (how i wish I actually had a northface backpack) for water and start walking forward. Because that little ridge was just a precursor for something far greater and more glorious.