Monday, September 29, 2003

Speaking of decompression, the a cappella auditioning madness has ended and I am once more At School in fact as well as geography. I'm listening to Disney songs, which is all the proof you should need. I have played through Jedi Academy once already, and I have fairly detailed thoughts on it that I might spew forth at a later date, since it's been a while since I've had a game review post here. (I give it about an 87% as an overall gaming experience.) I am seized with a desire to see Beauty and the Beast and Moulin Rouge to celebrate the resumption of school. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am most assuredly Back To School.

I have now officially become a Testimony alumnus, which is just fine with me. Not that I won't miss the group, of course, and it would have been nice to be in a group with Archimedes too, and besides all of that the new Testimony absolutely rocks and I think they would have been a lot of fun to fellowship and sing with and serve with. Also I perceive that God is moving Testimony into another phase of his plan for the group, and it would have been really nifty to be around for that. But instead of rejoining Testimony I have joined the Stanford Savoyards in their production of Pirates of Penzance as the Pirate King. The show is going to be a lot of fun and stands a very good chance of being an excellent show, plus I love my part.

Of course the real reason I am part of the Savoyards and not part of Testimony is that I feel like God has called me to the one and not the other. I say "feel" because that's the expression, but of course analyzing this sort of thing is rather difficult. I am not part of the play because it makes me happy, although it fills me with an ineffable happiness which kept me awake for at least an hour last night. This is one of the things that makes me trust God - every time I do something because he tells me to, it ends up being the most wonderful thing, in ways that I could not have imagined, even if it was something which by all rights ought not to have been delightful at all.

And I am not a part of the play because of anything written in the word, although there is plenty of logos about the whole thing. I would not precisely call myself a theatre person, but there is something about theatre which thrills me, something about acting which makes sense to me as a way of communication in a way that even writing does not. It does make sense to go back to a place that is a part of me, and which has been neglected for a long time. It also makes sense that I be in a place where ministry would be by contact, as it were, like yeast. Ministry activities which are designed as ministry activities make no sense to me, although I will not deny that there is a place for them in the battle plan of the Kingdom. But ministering to a theatre company, or through a theatre company - that is done primarily by being a person in whom Jesus lives, whom the Spirit is transforming. It is ministry through leadership, both of which are rooted in personal excellence - and that is something which makes sense to me.

It also makes sense to me that I would leave Testimony this year, precisely because it is the start of something new, and the group is growing more and more into its existence as a ministry. The ministry of Testimony is never something I have understood very deeply, although I have done my best to be a part of it. But I can see very clearly how I was part of the work God was doing in Testimony for the past three years, and that work has been established. I daresay that if I were to remain I would stand a very good chance of getting in the way. One has the sense that something big is going down, and I don't think it's something that my gifts are well suited to. So I don't find it surprising that I have been reassigned, as it were - nor do I find it surprising that I love my new post.

Not that I know precisely why I am in the Savoyards, or "what good will come of it." One cannot go around attempting to do good all the time. For one thing there's more good things you (and here I mean "you" generally) ought to be doing than you can be doing, if all you have to go on is your own moral code or the Scriptures or whatever. For another thing you have a comparatively bad idea of what good you actually can do, having no way of knowing if any particular action will ultimately turn out for good or for bad, or how far the ramifications will go and whether or not they will be ultimately good or bad in the end. You would need to be both omniscient and atemporal to have a satisfactorily long view of something like that. And finally, you have a very poor idea of what will actually be good for you - what will give you the requisite experiences, skills, and whatnot to do important work later on in life. This is why it is much better to go around doing what one ought to do rather than go around trying to figure out how you can do the most good, or make the biggest difference in the world: you simply don't have enough information about the plan. The only way one can possibly hope for the church to make a difference in the world is by trusting God to know what he's about, and stick to the plan regardless of how "important" it seems (we cannot all blow up the Death Star. Where would Luke have been if the man in charge of shipping those proton torpedoes to Yavin 4 had decided that logistics wasn't as "important" as flying X-Wings?). The Watchmaker must not only be in the watch (thank you, Alanna); he must be communicating to the cogs what to do - and they have to be used to listening for instructions. If we don't have that, the cosmic Resistance which is the church might as well be Norsemen - fighting on the right side, but doomed to impotence.

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