By Rev. Dr. Brian Gigee
I know this guy… his name is Len Sweet. He calls himself a “ancient-futurist.” That may sound strange to some, but it simply means that he is all about the future because he takes the needed time to review the past. Some might call that ‘reflection’ and others might refer to it as ‘contemplation’ while still there’s that camp who likes to keep things simple and from time to time ‘mull over’ what’s happened in life so they can make sure they repeat the good stuff and let go of the things that haven’t been so great. Len likes to talk about the future because he says that’s where he’s going to live and rather than just let the future come to him willy-nilly, he’s convinced he has a hand in how that future’s going to go.
He and I agree that faith matters, as everyone believes in something, and those things that we believe in shape how we live and the kind of life we have as a result of those beliefs. And to back that up he said this once, too… “God does not ask if we are able. God asks if we are available. And the weakness we offer God, is turned into a strength.” See? It’s one thing to be able. I can fix a flat tire, even though I’m really not that good at it. But, it’s something else to help someone when their tire is flat. That’s making myself available. It might take me longer than most to fix that flat, but God does turn weaknesses into strengths. And then we all travel on.
I’ve been writing this column now for just about six months. I appreciate the comments I’ve had and for the encouragement to “keep writing.” Yet, I wonder from time to time… ‘is this message doing any good?’ or ‘is anyone being influenced in a positive way?’ It’s hard to tell sometimes. And yet, I keep writing because it helps me look back at what has transpired in my life and the life of this world and gives me a space in which to think about and plan about that which is yet to come. Call me a friend of Len Sweet and an ancient-futurist because I really want to think about the future as that is where we will all live. The critical question, then, is “what do we want that future to look like?” And I really don’t have enough space to flesh that out in a 2-column article for the paper.
So, in the meantime I’d like to hear from you. My email address is at the bottom of this article. I’m interested in your questions of faith and life? What concerns you? What seems confusing? What is it that you can do to make yourself available to God? You see, I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover. It’s not the easiest of books to mull over, but it remains the best book to try. And I’ve read the end. Spoiler alert for the unknowing… God wins. The power of the risen Christ triumphs over sin, death and the power of the evil one. That’s my future. It’s yours, too despite our questions, concerns or weaknesses. And since God wins, I don’t want to miss out on any of the skirmishes… where battle lines are drawn and God’s people both make themselves available and make the effort to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and jailed, to work for peace and justice not only in our back yard but around the globe as well… because God loves us all. No. Matter. What. So… God is an ancient-futurist, too!
Old Jeremiah said this… “I know what I’m doing,” says the Lord. “I have it all planned out; plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”
Blessings to you and remember… faith matters as we all believe in something. Brian
Rev. Dr. Brian K. Gigee is long-time resident of Pearland and the pastor at New Life Lutheran Church at 3521 E. Orange St. in Olde Towne Pearland. You can follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/Friend2theRabbi Your comments and/or questions can be sent to [email protected].