My Trip to Maui: A Parable...

I dug up this old post from the last time I was in Hawaii - thought you might enjoy...

ORIGINALLY POSTED 06/24/06

I flew to Hawaii last weekend to perform a wedding for an old college friend and his new bride on a beautiful beach in Maui.

They paid for all my expenses, and the wedding itself was a wonderful experience, but the short stay before the wedding was frustrating and even depressing. I was surrounded by the misery of luxury and found it desperately difficult to enjoy myself.

Here's a parable I wrote...



Christianity is like a three-tiered swimming pool at the Ritz-Carlton in Maui.

Christianity is surrounded by eight-story buildings, room service and valet parking.

The people crowd around Christianity’s man-made pools of chlorinated blue water while sipping expensive cocktails.

As everyone tans in cushioned lawn chairs, the almost-unseen ocean laps gently at the sandy shore, less than half a mile away. The ocean water is clean and blue and warm to the touch. It caresses a few lonely swimmers who prefer its living, lapping waves to the severe luxury above.

I ask my companions if they will walk to the shore with me, but they refuse to abandon such posh comfort with convenient views of bikini-clad socialites.

I walk alone to the beach, and the warm wind fills my ears and nostrils. I jump into the swelling tide and dive my head deep beneath an approaching wave. There is sand beneath me, salt dripping in my mouth, and a sharp shell lances my foot...But this is real. This is a living, life-giving ecology.

The Kingdom of God is like a hidden, forgotten beach in the South Pacific Ocean. It is easily forgotten amidst tourist attractions, five-star hotels and infinite amenities. It waits for us to leave the comfort we create and enter a new kind of dangerous comfort – a fresh, vital, living, breathing swim through waters that stretch past the horizon.

Selectively Fundamentalist...

I just posted a different political cartoon on my other blog. As I said there: forgive me. I'm truly not "anti-Republican." And I'm really tired of politics. The "Right" is just getting the brunt of my ire these days because they are the most overtly manipulative of Christian values. If this was the 1960s or 70s, I'd be going after the Left for their selling out to a completely Social Gospel, synonymous with the Democratic Party's political platform.

But I digress...

Shane Claiborne writes in The Irresistible Revolution about "selective fundamentalists" who pick and choose what to be fundamentalist about.

He contrasts this with a wealthy German businessman he met in India, who sold everything he owned and went to live and work with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. THAT's the kind of fundamentalist I pray to be...

...but God help me: my apartment is comfy and my car is an `05.


Brian McLaren will be in Seattle Today & Tomorrow

...if you happen to be up there. I can't make it, but my friend Jim Henderson (www.Off-The-Map.org) is trying to get the word out.


June 12 - Monday 7:00 PM
Elliot Bay Bookstore Presents Brian McLaren @ Seattle First Baptist Church http://www.elliottbaybook.com/events/jun06/mclaren.jsp
FREE

June 13- Tuesday 9:30- 11:30 AM
A Little Off The Map with Brian McLaren @ Vineyard Community Church
http://vineyard-cc.org/
$20 per person at the door

  • Details per Nov 3-4 OTM Conference with George Barna and McLaren –will be announced at this gathering - www.Off-The-Map.org for more info...

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