Takes place this afternoon. It is a prestigious race. All the pizzazz, the celeb faces, the parties, the symbols of wealth and power and “success”. All to be part of this race with history. All to be seen. All to compare and reconfigure the “who’s who” pecking order. Oh – and did I mention there is a motor race as well?
Because the racers are in Monaco as well. Success for them is not measured in looks or wealth or prestige. Their success is measured not in seconds – not even in tenths of seconds – not even just in milliseconds – but in “billiseconds” of milliseconds. Their success is not even of an engine and car – their success is of a stopwatch so accurate it can measure success of failure in billiseconds of milliseconds.
That is not even the blink of an eye.
We were talking about success last night. Of family and children. Of careers and qualifications. Of success as measured by the world (and so many parents and the children as well). £s and $s. Power and status. Achievement and bestowed privilege.
I wince more and more at that style of judgement. A style that – no matter how well meaning – finds reason for happiness and contentment in the “product of my endeavours” – whether that be the child’s and/or the parent’s endeavours. Success I measure not in pennies or pounds but is zeroes. The number of zeroes after the numbers. Not even a billionth of a millisecond is success here. Here we are talking zeroes and how many.
How many zeroes have you achieved?
I quibble with the definition of being saved. I have come to see being saved as a billionth of a millisecond – a bunch of zeroes … Of being compared to another billionth of a second – to another bunch of zeroes.
Being saved so often is either membership of an exclusive club, or an achievement bestowing hierarchical privilege. Of then getting qualifications and becoming a leader, a face, a figure to be feted … Because so many Christians speak of “Super Christians”: Christians who are saved (obviously) and have become writers of books, charismatic speakers, eccentric benevolents … All marked out by something more than being saved – all who we name “The Saved+”.
Being saved is no longer enough.
Being saved invites progression to “The Saved+” for that is where the power and privilege are (perceived to be). But – as in any walk of life – almost none will ever achieve becoming The Saved+ …
All those who never get the breaks, are never in the right place at the right time, who come from the wrong side of the tracks, who don’t now how things work …
But so many just like me think that is what is what is expected … God willing … not my will but Thine … if you see fit dear Father … Who will You send – send me dear lord – I am ready … and all that …
I can only conclude from what I see and hear – because no one ever says it aloud – but I used to dream of it (because I thought that was how I became a good Christian … a proper disciple … )
The very word “Christian” now carries so much baggage it repels those who are not – and very many who are. Just as, I think, “being saved” has become “baggaged” as well.
Being saved is no longer enough. Now just as a starting point in my spiritual
career growth. Now requiring school and qualifications and study and visible progression. Now requiring taking the Good News to all … once I am trained and qualified – and if the Lord really wants me to do all that embarrassing stuff … making disciples of all nations … when I am qualified – and if the Lord really wants me to up-sticks and live with poor people in some third-world country.
But deep down I know I could never write a best-seller … could never stand in front of thousands and hold their attention … will never leave my comfortable house and job and family … because I do not have what it takes to become “The Saved+”.
And like so many other walks of life … I settle for a comfortable living.
All that baggage tells me something …
Being saved … being a Christian … has become (for so many who are AND aren’t) as much “of and in this world” as not being saved.
Do I hear an “Amen” …
Be blessed ..
Have a blessed day …
(and see you in church – don’t be late!)