December 3, 2018

A thing caught my eye story, changed my life


I think I was 13.  Maybe 12?  It doesn’t matter really, but young. Well, young-ish. Old enough to be responsible, carry on a nice conversation, BUT young enough to still have a great sense of awe and wonder.  Although, maybe we never grow out of that- or shouldn’t - but either way, it was full on a part of me at that point.


My cousin, who was like an older brother to me was 16, had a car and every once in a while would ask me to go do something with him. Now, I had no idea what was about to happen, but this story is one of those stories about my life changing course forever. I’ll go ahead and spare you the suspense. There was no car accident, nothing bad happened, nothing weird happened, this is a good story, so settle in.


He came and picked me up in his 76 Toyota Highlander which if you remember was THE coolest looking jeep-like thing I had ever seen. It was blue, stick shift (of course), and was loud enough outside, and in, to make good conversation almost impossible. But the MUSIC. THE MUSIC you can HEAR!  He has some dude install a system that would literally shake your brain. IT.  WAS.  AWESOME.  And for a 12 year old, riding with my high school cousin, who by the way was like 6’ 5”.  He played football for his high school and they nicknamed him “house”.  Yeah. I know…  So this was epic.


Okay okay, I know I’ve lost most readers by now.  Get to the story, Matt. Quit painting the picture so much. Sure. On it. But you chose to read this so…


Well, he picked me up and took me to Nashville - which was a big deal since we lived in the boonies comparatively and took me to a theater to see a movie. Perfectly good seeing a movie, but as we were buying tickets, he said we were seeing a concert movie about a band and was like, “WUT?”  Who?  What?  WHY?


You need to understand that I thought this was just a night out with my cousin. But this night changed my LIFE. The movie was Rattle and Hum by a lesser known band these days called U2.  And IT. WAS.  EPIC. I was blown away. I couldn’t get enough of it. I loved it.  I knew in that moment, that I had to have a guitar in my hands - immediately. I went home, saved up my cash, and went out and bought a guitar and an amp and that was it. I was changed. In that moment.  I don’t mean that I was shifted, or that I “thought it would be neat to play guitar”. It was like I was given a miracle drug that showed me what my life was going to be like forever more. And it has been. Absolutely filled. Music is so close to me and what I am called to do.I am sure that if God wanted me to play guitar, God would’ve figured out a way to get one in my hands, but maybe, maybe not. THAT moment changed my life. I was changed in that moment.  I could no longer look at life quite the same.  I needed to have a guitar in my hand, forever. That was it.  That was THE MOMENT that CHANGED EVERYTHING.


In scripture there are LOTS of places where everything changed. The story moved from one course and trajectory to another. But there may not be a more impactful post-resurrection story than the story of Pentecost. The Pentecost story is such a cool moment in creation’s story.  Acts 2 is so vividly ALIVE.  SO…STOP reading this and read Acts 2.  Then come back to this.


(Here’s a link for your reading pleasure -  Acts 2)


For those that didn’t read it just now:  seriously? C’mon dude.


For those that did: Angels sing in your honor this magnificent day!!  <angel chorus singing in background>


Three big things stand out to me:


1 - They are all in a room gathered together, but they end up going outside.  Perhaps that’s because they have flames on their heads - which is a good reason to STOP DROP and ROLL out of the house, kids.  The more you know…  J  But God had something way bigger in mind, stay tuned.


When the spirit rushes in, you may have to go outside of your walls. If not, you could burn your whole house down.


2 - When they got outside they started speaking EVERY language.  All these were languages that they didn’t necessarily previously know.  They were proclaiming the same message, but in ALL different languages.


When God calls you to proclaim the message you may be called to learn a new language. But don’t worry the Holy Spirit will teach you.


3 - Think about this. It says toward the end of the chapter that 3000 were added to the community that day. But I have to think that there weren’t 3000 people just standing around hoping for the gospel message. No. Probably not, they were likely on their way to do something or other but got roped in by the energy, passion and sight that they couldn’t ignore. And as they drew close they heard the gospel in their own language.  And right then, that was the MOMENT that CHANGED EVERYTHING. They would never be the same again.


When God brings the gospel to you and you share it with others with energy and passion in their own language, you’ll get to see LIVES CHANGED forever.


They, just like me seeing Rattle and Hum, could no longer live the same way. They were changed.  No just the listeners but the ones given the ability to speak!  No longer would they ever all fit in the same room again!  It changed EVERYONE. That moment was AMAZING! That’s gospel growth right there, and it happened because that moment, for all those people, changed everything.


SO, what caught your eye and brought you to faith? Who went outside to meet you when they could have just stayed in and kept it to themselves? Who learned your language and gave you a life changing message of hope and mercy? What was your moment that changed everything for you?


Maybe, today your call is to do the same. Maybe, today is someone’s Pentecost Moment in your life.  Maybe today you’ll need to go outside your comfortable walls so that they can hear the message. Maybe today you are being called to learn a new language and share the gospel in a whole new way. Maybe today you get to be a part of that new life. Maybe today YOU are the invitation someone is desperately waiting on and hoping for.


Sisters and brothers,

            be encouraged to look around you for those who are waiting on the Pentecost moment.



We pray, God of all creation.  O King who calls us to love beyond our walls , set us on fire with your Spirit so we’ll go outside to share the message of hope.   Give us the language of the people around us.  Let us be a part of your mission and ministry by loving others into a redemptive relationship with you, Jesus.  Amen



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