Stepping out of the middle and onto the edge
God is who gives me everything. By His grace I am alive. By his grace I am able to think and act. I am able to decide that discipline and execution need to be incredibly important if I’m to use the talents, gifts and desires He has put in me.
At the most macro level, I believe everything comes from God. As we move closer to the micro, freewill comes into play and makes life feel a little messy. I’m not a theologian or an apologist. I’m just some dude who on some level knows that starting, owning and running a business is what drives him. I believe THAT came from God. So doing this tshirt company is one way I can honor God and try to bring Him glory.
When I told my wife that I wanted to start a t-shirt company, she immediately jumped in with the idea to do bible verses and hymns. I didn’t have a better idea or any idea at all. At first I was hesitant, as I thought about it more, it grew on me. Then I heard a sermon from John Piper about how a life dedicated to promoting God was a lofty goal. It sealed the idea in my mind. Shirts can be an amazing way to spread the Truth. To share a glimpse of our faith with others. To ignite a conversation about an Almightly God who is worthy of our everything.
I’m not real big into going out and telling every person I see that I believe in God and they should too. I think it comes from my childhood. I have believed in God since I was very young and was never afraid of people knowing that but at some point in highschool I got tired of being treated differently because I was a good christian kid. Other teens would be talking about sex, drugs or rockroll and when I would ask what they were talking about the immediate response was, “oh, you don’t want to hear about this”. When I would ask why not the answer always came back the same, “because your a christian” as if they were somehow protecting me. I didn’t want to be protected from the world, I wanted to be in the world so I could see how faith intersects with it.
Maybe it was God protecting me from things I was not ready to know about but at the time it just felt like being a christian meant standing on the edge looking in. That was hard for me as a teenager and to some degree it is still hard. I want people to like me and the easiest way to make that happen is to just be middle of the road. Do not be on the edge or voice a strong opinion. Be flexible and willing to bend. Have a sense of humor and keep things surface. Thats the road to the middle. As an adult, I realize that you can’t be in the middle and you can’t make everyone like you. No one does great things by just being mediocre. God calls Christians to the edge because we are on the outside. We are human, messy and prone to making mistakes just like everyone else but we are also set apart. Given a special purpose to spread the love and light of Christ.
Our Faith is not in the middle. Its very much on the edge or at least it should be. Thats where I want Put on Grace to live as well. The edge. Its not just going to be some casual place with mediocre shirts. It has to be edgey, pushing against the friction. Allowing God to call people out of the middle and onto the edge where faith intersects with a messy world. Where we are forced to deal with real issues and real people. We can’t live in the middle and have an impact. So step out of the middle in faith and allow God to work!