Tuesday, March 11, 2008

In the midst of those who would surrender their hearts to Jesus! (in Mexico).

In a world that teaches that any press is good press, as it brings light to a given subject or situation, I confess I have struggled a bit.
It is a given that everyone will not agree with the subject, conclusions, or even the methods held within a book. Writers cannot please everyone. We understand that. We even agree with it.
What I have found particularly interesting is that among the reviews of our book, one single review keeps appearing in many different web sites and Christian periodicals. Some would say it is the most objective. I don't know if that is true or not as I am perhaps too close to the situation. However, I am perplexed that it is getting more play than others that I believe are more on point.
What I can say is that in this particular review, it reflects that my son was reckless and that he encouraged others to be as well.
I would say this about that.
As I read the review, my sense is that she did not understand who BJ was. He did enjoy life on the edge in terms of his pursuits. He loved to run downhill as fast as he could go. When we hiked, he would find a steep bank and hurdle down it. He did enjoy "thrill rides" at theme parks. From this perspective he was normal and perhaps a bit reckless.
However, I take issue with the inference that he was reckless in the sense of ignoring all reason, when it came to sharing his faith. He was Spirit led, and that without a doubt found him following to places others would not consider going. However, it was never his goal or attitude to make foolish decisions that intentionally endangered him or his team.
When the Lord moved in his heart, he was obedient. We all should be. Yes, sometimes that will find us in places that others could call reckless. However, if we focus on words to describe the event rather than what God did in those events, we walk away with a skewed understanding of what really happened.
Perhaps that is what I am doing even now.
I know BJ followed hard after God and that he willingly walked into situations that made him uncomfortable, because the Lord had spoken to him. I wish more of us would do the same.
I went through a period in my life when I felt invincible. I felt that since God had called me into ministry, I could do about anything and everything would be alright. I soon learned that following God where He led would always bring Him glory, but following my own desires would often bring about the wrong result...glory to me. That always brought struggle.
BJ knew this, we openly discussed it. It was not his intent to foolishly go anywhere and bring glory to himself. Did he do that sometimes? Yes. Was it the prevailing message of his life? No.
His life was about obedience. He was responsive to authority, even when he didn't agree. He was responsive to us, to his teachers, to his coaches, and to others who were in authority in his life.
He treated them with respect.
These are not signs of someone who is reckless in life.
He hungered deeply after the things of God. He pointed others in that same direction with his words, with his writings, with his life.
While I can think of reckless things he did in his life, I also know that comparatively speaking, his recklessness was far less dangerous in general, that what many around him were involved with.
His recklessness was primarily about following God where He led. He spoke to policemen, gang members, transvestites, principals, teachers, coaches, nurses and people like you and me. His message was the Gospel. His heart was love for others.
If that is reckless, then BJ was.
He did not encourage others to be foolish or reckless in their approach to life. He encouraged others to follow Christ with abandon. Those two things are not equivalent though they may sometimes be cast as such.
Recklessness results in difficulty and pain that was measurable before a decision was made to perform an act. His abandon pointed people to Jesus. That cost him his life, but not because he was reckless. It cost him his life because he was obedient.
Should you read such reviews, please understand the difference.


At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BJ got it. He was "positively" reckless to the point where he would die to bring the Gospel to others. I call that reckless LOVE of those whom he knew were lost and needed a Savior. I know way too many people that are reckless with the way they live their lives, and yet it is considered acceptable to most. I'm not judging, but He will and BJ knew this fact. He took risks to save people from themselves and look to the eternal Savior. We could only hope and pray for more of that kind of self-abandonment and recklessness!!

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! I agree with Vicky!

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've not read any reviews but as I was reading the post today I kept thinking of this verse:

Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile." So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. 1 Cor. 3:18-23
Mark \O/

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Hopeful Pediatric Oncology Nurse said...

I agree with Vicky, by so much.

I suppose the person didn't understand who BJ was. I certainly do (maybe cuz there's more to it when you find out all about this by MercyMe... and reading the book 2 times, going on 3), but maybe not everybody does. It's their interpretation. But BJ...was someone who gave his life for God, the One who gave us life! Who are we to choose if we live or die, and when? God does what he does. How are we to compare to THAT?

Let's look up the meaning of reckless-utterly unconcerned about the consequences of some action; without caution; careless.

That be the meaning, BJ was it... in the sense that he took a step into the unknown, because he was called, and knew God would lead him, and be with him and... everything!

In Christ,

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Scott said...

I just finished reading the book today after first hearing of BJ a little over a week ago. I find it odd that a person would call his life "reckless". just out of curiousity I wonder if this person writing the review is a Christian or not. That aside, if in fact BJ did live a reckless life then I myself want to be more reckless with my life. He was almost half my age but he did have it figured out!


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