Eighteen years ago this month I remember riding to school and the announcement that Rich Mullins had been killed in an accident involving a jeep and eighteen wheeler the day before came on the radio. All I knew then was that he was the author of “Awesome God.” The radio station then said, “Rich is now experiencing God’s awesome presence. . .” and they went immediately in to the song. For whatever reason, the moment impacted me. Over the past nearly two decades (particularly the first), especially after viewing the documentary, “Homeless Man,” the life, words, and music of this eccentric (ragamuffin) child of God have been formative for me. One object I have in my office is his original self titled EP. I look to it and often think of many of his songs I’ve enjoyed and have influenced me.
A lot of this came rushing back this morning when I was jogging and the following words came streaming across my Pandora station. How apt, how appropriate, How unsettling. May he being dead yet speak today. Let these rich words nourish your soul.
“See, I believe that if you were chosen, that if you were elected. I believe if God has anything for you, it’s not just to make you happy. God did not choose you and call you out of this world just to make you high. And God didn’t choose you and God didn’t call you out of this world just so you that could be pious. Because there are enough pious people and enough happy people in the world. What God called you for, and what God called you to is to make a difference in the world.
You know, there are a lot of people who have never heard the gospel of Christ. Somehow, I have a little bit of trouble when I see people spend fifteen, sixteen bucks a hit to hear some flashy Christian group say ‘Jesus is Lord’ to the tune of fifteen bucks a person when there are people who live not far from here who can’t even afford to buy a Bible. And somehow, it seems a little bit weird that we should have more ministers in this country and fewer people, when in the world where there are so many people who would give anything to have a minister, they can’t find them, because they’re not there, because they’re in our country.
I don’t believe that God chose you and blessed you so that you could heap those blessings up upon yourself. I believe God chose you and you and you and every one of you others, because He wants to make a difference in this world. And you know what? What I think is scary about God is He didn’t come up with any ‘plan B.’ That He left the church here, and the church is the only group of people and the church is the only institution in the world that can bring about a change. This government cannot do it, so stop depending on the government. Educational systems cannot do it, so stop trusting educational systems. The church was chosen by God to make a difference.
And you know what, people? You ain’t going to make a difference by building more bombs. And you ain’t going to make a difference by putting on more makeup and showing up on more television shows. And you’re not going to make a difference by having the loudest P/A or the biggest crowd at your concerts. You’re gonna make a difference when you lay down your life, and in complete submission to God, choose to die with Him in service to other people.”