Life Lessons from a Flash Mob

10:23 AMHeather

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and emails are full of videos and ecards and photos of this and that.  Honestly, I find that keeping my email empty from all the sales and coupons and deals and such is so overwhelming that it's easy to lose track of the important content.  And, I suppose I might have lost a fortune or be kept out of heaven because I did not forward that one email to ten of my closest friends.  So, amidst the "offer ends at midnight" and meaningful photos and such, I keep getting links to this one video.

I've grown wiser in my 40's.  If the same thing keeps coming across my path--be it a particular Scripture or video link--perhaps I should stop and dwell on it.  I've learned that in my walk with the Lord, He often uses repetition to get things through my thick skull.  This is exactly what's happened with a particular video of a Christmas flash mob.  Honestly, the first time I saw the video that is the subject of this blog post, I cried.  The second time, I sorta rushed through it--yeah, yeah.  I saw that.  Great!  Really meaningful.  Gotta run!  The THIRD time I got an email from yet another loved one with a link to it, I thought I better pay closer attention.

So, class, here's your assignment today.  (Bet you didn't know taking time to read my blog would have homework?!  Really--press on.  It's worth it).  When you watch this video, watch intentionally and carefully.  Here's what you are looking for.  HOW do the bystanders respond to the flash mob?  Please--if you've seen it before, watch again with fresh eyes.  It'll be worth your time, I promise.

Okay, ready?  Set....GO!  Watch and make mental notes 

Here's the thing.  By my third time around watching this video, I saw a life lesson.  A really life changing lesson, if we'll make the time to dwell on it.  You see, I think that the bystanders response is a metaphor for our world.  It's a visual representation of you and of me.  So, where do you fall?

Too busy.  Did you see the people on the fringe--on the outside?  They kept walking.  Oh, they might have stopped for a quick stare, but they have places to go, things to do, people to see.  They are too busy to stop and take note of God in their life.  Of how God wants to intersect their day and reach their heart and connect with them.  Of how God does it, day after day.  But, they are too busy to stop and notice and so they never see.  They are task driven, too important to stop for such things.  They are self-sufficient.  They don't need to pause to notice Jesus.  They can manage their tasks and their lives just fine, thank you.

Gawking.  Did you notice the awkward stares and the gawking?  The pointing fingers and looks of confusion.  They don't know what to make of it.  Here they were, going through their day with their own agenda.  Something happens.  Something causes them to pause.  While it's truly Jesus reaching into their day, they don't have the faith or the time or the ability to take it at face value and really marinade in it.  This may be people who occasionally invoke the name of God, but it's an ill fit.  They haven't made the effort to truly make sense of how Jesus can fit into their lives.  So, they do stop and look.  And they may think, "Oh, yes.  I believe in God."  But, they only gawk at him from a distance, never approaching him with a completely open mind and heart.

Temporary awe.  Did you see the people who stopped in their tracks?  They stared and watched, and by the second or third song, many of them joined in.  They were in awe of how God showed up in their ordinary day.  These are people who see God through big moments, or in times of trial, perhaps.  They take time, here and there, perhaps even every Sunday, to reach toward God.  There is some effort to connect and join in, with smiles and even an occasional tear glistening their eye.  Wow, wasn't that nice?  They say, as they walk away from their God encounter.  Just lovely.  And, then, poof.  Back to their own agenda, their own power, their own lives.  Their connection points with Jesus are spotty and up and down, and never go very deep.

Bent knees.  By the end, when the singers fall on their knees, did anyone notice how many people in the crowd joined in?  How many people were so moved, so touched that they bent their knees and went all the way in worship?  From what I can see, it was one family of spectators, led by the little boy.  And then, the mom in a red sweater and the rest of the family.  One family, in that huge crowd.  And so it is in our nation, in our communities, and yes, even in our churches.  Precious few are so moved by the Jesus in their lives that they are changed and awed to the point of bending their knees, bending their will, bending their plans in complete surrender to what God wants to do.  Few follow with such abandon.  Few long to drink deep and experience more after they've seen Jesus show up in their lives.  Few are changed by God encounters to the point that the impact lasts well beyond the moment.  

Which leads me to my question today.  I ask it wholeheartedly, but with tender love for you each.  Who are you?  Which category of spectators summarizes your response to God encounters?  Because here we are--on the cusp of celebrating how God ultimately showed up in our lives by becoming God with Us, Emmanuel.  How God interrupted the norm and the routine to bring about eternal changes.  How God turned the world on it's side by sending his One and Only Son to walk the earth, wrapped in our fragile flesh.  All for the sake of dying on a cross to make a way for us to get to Him, in never ending fellowship.  God showed up, all right.  And like this flash mob, there were heavenly choruses to celebrate the occasion.  There were surprised spectators to this sudden interruption of their routine, where the veil of heaven was pulled back.  And, there was a baby in the middle of it all.  The divine reaching into the mundane.  The God of the Universe stepping in to walk in our path and show us a new way.  

So, what of you?  How will you respond to Him this Christmas season?  Will you stay consumed with your tasks and busy agenda?  Will you stop and stare and gawk at it all, unsure what to make of a Messiah who came as a helpless baby?  Will you join in and feel touched and moved by the season?  And,then within weeks, think back to how nice it all was?  Or will you bend your knee?  Will you see God in your life, seeking to connect with you so that you will never be the same?  And will you yield all that you have in order to pursue all that He wants to give?  

Bloggy friends.  Fall on your knees.  Oh, hear the angel voices.  And let your soul feel its worth at the thrill of hope. 


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