“Be Me, Go Me”
by Raymond L. Peacock, Lt. Colonel –
It is my current privilege to be enrolled in George Fox Seminary, the “Sweet cohort.” The latter refers to Dr. Leonard Sweet, educator and author of nearly twenty books. Recently Dr. Sweet asked us to write on the topic, “Hear Me, Follow Me, Be Me, Go Me!” This was to be a reflection on our personal spiritual journey. Let me share something from two of the sections, the “Be Me, Go Me” from that recent spiritual exercise.
Martin Luther said we should be “Christs” to one another. C.S. Lewis suggested the following in Mere Christianity.
“It is so easy to think that the Church has a lot of different objects—education, building, missions, holding services…The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.”
Somehow, as president of Crestmont College, I have to “keep the main thing, the main thing.” I must “be Christ” and teach how to make others little Christs. I have to be incarnational and teach others to be incarnational. My understanding of incarnation is that it encompasses creation, incarnation (God’s identification with fallen creation) and re-creation. Also, I need to unite the via activa and the via contemplativa. As Dag Hammarskjöld, former U.N. Secretary General, once said, “In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action.”
Consequently, there will be a spirituality to my work. A description of what I foresee is similar to one found in Streams of Living Water. “We have a sense of calling, a God-given ability to do a job linked with a God-given enjoyment in doing it. We have a sense of responsibility to do something in our own time that has value. We have a sense of freedom from the burden of the workaholic, for we are not asked to do more than we can. We have a sense of creativity that enables us to place the autograph of our souls on the work of our hands. We have a sense of dignity, for we value people over efficiency. We have a sense of community, for we know that our life together is more important than the end product…and, we have a sense of meaning and purpose, for we know that we are working in cooperation with God to bring the world one step closer to completion.”
Based on what I’m learning, what should I “go and do?” Perhaps some of the following:
• Connect with local corps in terms of their being “little seminaries.” Some of this could link with cross-cultural experiences.
• Pursue mission as well as incarnation.
• Holiness is about relationships; pursue them.
• In the spirit of welcoming sinners, revisit Booth’s theme of “Go for sinners and go for the worst.” Reconnect with the inner city.
• Think more about authenticating success via resonance rather than results.
• Further explore inhabiting and indwelling the voice God has given me.
• Continue to listen for God’s voice in the culture.
• Invest in one minute cheerleading (praising) more frequently with co-workers.
Lord, let me be adventuresome. Put the wind in my sails for Crestmont College. Let it be the “goingest” college in the Army world, because we prepare servant leaders for mission in the emerging culture who understand Albert Orsborn’s song of Christ amidst the crowd.
O is not the Christ ‘midst the crowd of today
Whose questioning cries do not cease?
And will he not show to the hearts that would know
The things that belong to their peace?
But how shall they hear if the preacher forebear
Or lack in compassionate zeal?
Or how shall hearts move with the Master’s own love,
Without his anointing and seal?
Except I am moved with compassion,
How dwelleth thy Spirit in me?
In word and in deed
Burning love is my need;
I know I can find this in thee.1
1The Song Book of The Salvation Army: American Edition. (Verona, N.J., National Headquarters, 1987), 527.