Isaiah 61:1-3

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Journeyman

It's a drama I did while I was with Teen Mania Ministries. At the time I did mission trips with them, they had two. The one I participated in the most was an allegory of Creation, the fall of man, the death and resurrection of Jesus and the redemption of mankind. (And wouldn't you know, I can't remember the name of it.)

The other was The Journeyman. It follows a man looking for the answers to two questions. "Who made me?" and "Why am I here?"

Now, I don't remember exactly how the whole thing goes as the last time I did this drama was in Malaysia in 1998. However, I will tell you the gist of the whole thing. Now, you need to use your imagination. The drama was done to music, with a narrator telling the audience what was going on in the language of that country.

We start with a man. He is asking two questions; "Who made me?" and "Why am I here?". Sound familiar? OK, back to our drama. . .

While asking these questions, a man appears on the scene. He tries to answer Journeyman's questions. Journeyman shrugs him off. The man leaves.

In comes a group of people. They have treasure. Gold. Journeyman starts fighting them for it. He hits one. They fall dead. Suddenly, Journeyman has blood on his hands. (Represented by red gloves.) He is guilty. Exit the treasure people.

Next, and I'm sure I have my order mixed up, but in come the intellectuals. They are book smart. They can find the answers to anything in books. Journeyman asks them his questions. They cannot give him the answer. He asks them to help him take his gloves off. They can't do it. Journeyman moves on and the man enters the scene again. And again, Journeyman waves him off.

Enter the party people. They are laughing, dancing, drinking. They are having a good 'ole time. Journeyman joins in the party. He asks his questions, but they can't answer them. They try to get the gloves off. They can't do it either. After a while, the party breaks up, leaving Journeyman in a lonely position.

The treasure hunters come back. They are seeking justice. They are seeking revenge. They take Journeyman, intending to make a sacrifice out of him. Enter the man. He takes Journeyman's place. They crucify the man. He dies.

Not the end of the story. The man is resurrected, takes off the Journeyman's gloves and answers the mans questions. But that's not the end either. The man offers the same to the other groups the Journeyman had come across. Some accept, others reject. The man is sad each time someone rejects, but is overjoyed when someone accepts. The 'new' group gathers around and faces the audience. End drama.

Now I know that I didn't represent the drama perfectly or to it's full intent it was meant to be. But it will do for this time. (I did try to look for the script, but didn't find it.)

We are all Journeymen. Male, female, young, old, red, yellow, black and white. We are always searching for the answers to the two questions Journeyman asked.

When I went to Texas several weeks ago to spend some time with my cousin, a door was opened for me to speak into her life after a discussion about 'worldly humor' and the lack of morals this world has to offer.

Without getting into complete details, and make the post even longer, I told her she's too busy doing her own thing to care about what she was really created for. Sure, she searching for a plan for her life, trying to discover who she really is, but where is she doing that, what is she looking to and what is she finding?

We're all like that. We want what we want, without rules or anything getting in the way. We live in a world of do-what-feels-good-when-it-feels-good. We don't like the thought of someone putting regulations on what we can and cannot do, even if it's for our own good and/or protection. We look in all the wrong places.

Think about it. . . It goes back to the questions of the Journeyman. 'Who made me?' and 'Why am I here?'. Where did he look and who did he look to?

Think about creation. God said 'Let us make man in our own image.' He created male and female both and then had a relationship with them. He would walk with them in the garden. He would fellowship with them. Why would he do that?

After the fall, we were separated from God, from being able to have a relationship with him. But there's more to the story, more to what we were created for, more to who we are are.

We are created for God. To have relationship with him. If that wasn't true, why would he have sent his Son to die for us so that we can reestablish that relationship with him? How many times have I forgotten what I was created for? Too many to count. But there is Grace. For everyone.

Unfortunately, the world is looking in the wrong places. They are searching for that relationship that we were created for. Remember in Jerry Maguire, when Dorothy (Renee Zellweger) tells Jerry (Tom Cruise) that he completes her? Then at the end of the movie, he tells her the same thing? No man can do this for another. Know who can, though? Yep, that's what God does for us, if we let him.

You may think what I told my cousin was pretty harsh. And maybe it was. However, I believe that we are not living in a time that we can be passive. Time is too short for it. We need to tell the world, that includes the people we see every day-family, friends, neighbors-what we were really created for.

Isaiah sums it up nicely in Isaiah 49:5-6 "And now the Lord speaks—the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him. The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength. He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” Talk about a call!!!!

So now, ask yourself. 'Who made you?' and 'Why are you here?'. The answer, you'll find, is bigger and better than you could ever dream. Not to worry, though. When we find God, start a relationship with Him, our journey isn't over. No, my friend, it is only the beginning. We're just a different kind of Journeyman. A New One.