My wife and I are on vacation. We are traveling to Jackson Hole, Wyoming via Moscow, Idaho, Missoula, Montana, and maybe Bozeman. We have a day to get from Missoula to Jackson Hole, it may warrant a trip to Bozeman, we’ll see.
While we are staying in Moscow we are visiting my wife’s mother. It has been a nice couple of days, and tomorrow we leave for Montana. Today we attended Church, and Pastor Sue gave a very nice sermon on David and Goliath. When Pastor Sue mentioned David’s stones both my wife and I thought about our trip to Israel and when we stood in the very spot the David slew Goliath.
However, the part of the sermon that stood out to me was the ceremony at 10 am when the Church range its bell once in remembrance of the tragedy in Charleston, and then nine more times for the victims. It was solemn yet poignant to recognize how the Church universal was hurting along with its brothers and sisters. I was moved, especially when Pastor Sue discussed how the hatred of the young man who did the shooting was responded to with love and forgiveness.
I have read many different comments from many different people about this situation, some are hateful and some confused, but the fact is evil was confronted by good and good won. I say that good one, because the people of the AME Church, and the Church universal, have responded to this with prayer, humility, and forgiveness. I think we may have forgotten this as we deal with the social issues of our country.
When I started this blog entry, I was going to write about how social entrepreneurs could help find creative solutions to these issues of hate through their drive, eye for details, and connections, but as I thought about it, it seemed hollow. However, I think talking about a greater why behind life would be appropriate.
Richard Goosen and Paul Steven state in their wonderful book, Entrepreneurial Leadership (which I will be using in my leadership class in the Fall) states that “Christians are prone to reflect culture rather than lead it.” That seems quite sad to me. To me this means we are being influenced by society, instead of influencing it. If I want to produce Social Entrepreneurs who are impacting the world then I need to demonstrate how one is not influenced but is influencing.
I have heard many people state they don’t like the word “worldview.” They think it is colonial pushing people to believe a certain way. But I think it is a term that is critical for this day and age. If a worldview is “the sum total of our beliefs,” and I claim to be a believer, then my lifestyle and actions should be different. James Sire states, “A worldview is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart.” Thus, the people of the AME Church in Charleston can forgive extreme evil because of the commitment their God has to them, and the commitment they have to their God. That is what worldview is all about.
If I am a Christian who claims to be an entrepreneur, the “why” of what I do needs to be different. James Sire says a worldview tells us what is real, what it means to be a human being, and how ultimately how I should live.
As a result, this is the lesson I am taking away from the horrible event at the AME church. God is real, and in the face of evil expressed in a fallen world, I choose to love. I choose to be productive and to live. I choose to seek the real God in my life and to live for Him. I choose to use my gifts and talents for the betterment of humanity. I know humanity is fallen, but I also know this gives me an opportunity to demonstrate the love of God in a partnership with Him.
My role as an entrepreneur is to do the best I can to creatively meet whatever need I am attempting to meet. And I am to do this, not with my eyes on great wealth, but on the transcendent norms that I have been taught by God. Also, I will do this not by my own strength, by the power that God’s Spirit gives me.
I am sure there is much bitterness in the Charleston community over this act of terror, but those directly affected by the attack have chosen to do what God has called them to do, which is to be a light in a world of darkness. May we all learn this lesson!
And that is my thought for the day!