A semi-regular attempt (in other words, as I have time) to explore the interaction between God and the adolescent world, especially the connection between theory and praxis (otherwise known as practical theology). Primary emphasis will be given to the role of the church (and especially the emerging church) in this process.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Amazing Grace

I was speaking at the East Ohio Immersion retreat this past weekend. After the retreat, I had the opportunity to watch an incredible movie--Amazing Grace. If you're not familiar with it, the movie is about the life of William Wilberforce, a British member of parliament and an abolitionist. Wilberforce, along with his friend and colleagues, led the charge to abolish slavery in England. This film documents his struggle to make this happen.

What struck me most about this film was how Wilberforce's drive to stop slavery was a direct result of a call he had from God. That call played itself out in so many powerful ways, but the film did an incredible job of showing that this call impacted his entire life. He physically and mentally suffered because he was not able to fulfill the call for such a long time and as a result, thousands upon thousands more slaves died. He lost friends and standing in society because of the stand he took trying to bring this call to fruition. And it took most of his life for him to fulfill the call (he invested 20 years of his life just to accomplish passing a law outlawing slavery).

As I said, I saw this film right after speaking three times to a group of senior high students, trying to help them learn to discern God's call upon their lives. After the movie, the thought came to me--what would happen if we who work with adolescents could help them grasp and live out God's call upon their lives with the same fervor and passion that Wilberforce had? What type of revolution would be launched? How would the church be forever changed? How much would we adults recognize the paucity of our own passion in following God's call upon our lives?

If you have not seen the film Amazing Grace yet, let me encourage you to go. Better yet, take a bunch of your teens with you. Maybe they will be inspired to do the great things God is calling them to do as well.


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