And while I was on my way and approaching Damascus, about noon a light from heaven brighter than the noon-day sun suddenly blasted all about me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
"Who are you, Lord?"
"I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting."
Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one speaking to me.
"What do you want me to do, Lord?"
"Do? You don't have all that much to do. Find a church you like, pay tithes on your gross income, and watch your pastor fulfill my 'vision' for him. That's all you need to do."
I shot this photograph on a recent trip for Breath. I knew the moment I took it that it wouldn't make the cut for the magazine. The lighting was a horribly dull yellow, and there was no way to prevent the highlights in the video screen from being blown out. But, while it's not an Instagram image, I find myself returning to it again and again. And that's because it epitomizes how the walk of faith is preached today. Believers are prodded to assume the role of passive shareholders in small Christian corporate endeavors (read: church buildings, television studios, conference centers) to help "fulfill" the leader's vision instead of living large on their own as direct witnesses of the Light having come down. Living by faith these days carries all the risk of investing in a no-load mutual fund.
The challenge facing the ardent believer today isn't trying to comprehend the never-heard-before revelation of God's work in Christ like we see in Acts. It is choosing to desert an indelibly safe and and docile form of godliness vacant of any power.