A Sense of Urgency – Uganda Update #2
Somewhere toward the end of our stay in Uganda, Pastor Timothy, one of the pastors who was working with us as an interpreter, met us with some alarming news. He came to the Arise Africa Guest House in the morning where we were staying and approached our table where we were having breakfast and reading Scripture in preparation for another full day of ministry. He then proceeded to tell us the following story.
On Thursday of that week, while we were ministering in Pastor Timothy’s village, a local fisherman came to faith in Jesus Christ through the sharing of the Gospel by someone on our team. Pastor Timothy explained that the man was an epileptic and often suffers from seizures. Tragically, on Monday of the following week, just four days after he accepted Jesus, he drown in Lake Victoria, likely from a seizure. As Timothy shared with us the bittersweet news, I sat there dumbfounded and completely speechless. This man almost missed it. He almost missed Jesus. Had the Lord not orchestrated our paths to cross in that little fishing village along Lake Victoria, that man would likely be in Hell today.
Pastor Timothy’s story reminded me again of the sense of urgency with which these Ugandan believers live everyday, and it convicted me of my lack of the same. There’s little urgency in our culture–in our country. There’s little urgency among American evangelicals, as a whole, to get the Gospel to hurting people. And I’ve been reflecting on why that is ever since I’ve returned. I don’t know that I have the answer. Some will say bad orthodoxy, or liberalism. And I think that’s part of it. Maybe that was the greatest hindrance in previous generations. I can’t prove this, but for my generation I am beginning to think that perhaps a greater hindrance to the advancement of the Gospel, even more than bad orthodoxy, is simply dead orthodoxy. Because at least with bad orthodoxy, it fires up the trigger-happy conservatives to move into battle formation to fight for the authority, inspiration, and inerrancy of Scripture. But with dead orthodoxy, the belief is right, but nothing is happening. There’s no sense of urgency. And urgency can’t be created or fabricated. Many in my generation have the right theology, but they have no urgency.
My brother, Smooth, put it best when he said, “Uganda lives in a state of emergency everyday.” And until we see that the emergency that most of the world lives in requires an urgency within us, not much is going to change, at least nothing that brings about eternal change. O God, give us a sense of urgency. And never let it leave.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)