Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cirque du Soleil and the Gospel

Karla and I were able to attend a cirque du soleil dinner event recently. There were jugglers, magicians, feats of strength and agility. The performers were quite amazing.
One lady balanced a cello with her feet above her head−juggling it and turning it all with her feet. Another lady changed her clothes over and over again in a manner of seconds. (I've asked Karla if she could work on obtaining that skill.) There was one guy, whose physique was absolutely nothing like mine, flexing his muscles and displaying his strength. (I asked Karla if that guy reminded her of me. She said an emphatic, “No!” a little too quickly for my liking.) All this to say each performer was quite amazing.

 The show began with a woman in a huge champagne glass twisting and turning. She was quite "bendy." I think she scratched her shoulder with her opposite foot after taking said foot first around her head. It hurt me just watching her. I don't even know how you get that skill (or quite frankly why you would want it−unless you had very itchy ears).

While I'm not ready to be twisting around in a big glass on a stage in front of hundreds of people, I do want to be flexible. I don't care if my foot can scratch my ear, but I do want to be able to be able to evaluate my environment and do the most good in it.

Here’s the deal: If we are serious about reaching people for Christ (our mission from Jesus is to make "more and better disciples"), then I think being flexible and willing to change in a changing world is part of it. As our world changes, we need to be "bendy" too. Not changing our message−the message of Christ is timeless−but changing our methods when necessary. Paul had this “bendy” attitude toward the methods of reaching people when he wrote to the Corinthians:To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:21-23)

I wish one of our core values would be "everything is an experiment." The stakes (eternal life and eternal death) are too high to not try. I have too many neighbors and too many friends and acquaintances that desperately need us to keep trying, keep experimenting, and continuing to be willing to be flexible with our methods so that we might proclaim the message of Christ. 

I'm not ready to hop into a big champagne glass (and no one would want to see that fiasco) but I do want to be flexible. The message is too important.