Rock this place to the ground…and remember: it's better to burn out than fade away.
At least that's the gospel according to Joe Elliot, lead singer for Def Leppard, arena big-hair rockers from across the pond that helped mold my young skull of mush when I was 14. Pyromania changed my life…and gave me a new place to belong.
Before then, my brother and I loved building models. Cars. F14 fighter planes. Battleships. Sherman tanks. Even a 1965 Shelby GT 350. Glue. Paint. Decals you had to cut out and soak in water. We'd spend 6 months building and collecting them. Hanging them from the ceiling. Putting them on our shelves. Then fireworks season would roll around.
My grandad owned a fireworks stand and Shae and I would come work it. In return, he gave us free fireworks. Bottle rockets (the good kind). Chasers. Roman Candles. Boxes of Black Cat firecrackers and Lady Fingers. We'd take our previous six months of tanks, ships, planes, cars, etc., and turn the gravel driveway into a war zone of epic proportions. We'd spend one hour demolishing what we'd created in the last six months. It was freakin' awesome. My mom couldn't understand why. Because, in January, we'd start building again–we had to get ready for July 4th!
As a kid I loved watching that stuff burn. It was better to see them burn up and burn out than to fade away…and fade from interest. But as a student minister, I've seen way too many guys and girls in ministry burn out…guys who were on the camp speaker circuit get caught up in extra-marital affairs, musicians and worship leaders whose lives become dominated by greed or lust, and even wise, godly men and women who sacrifice their families on the altar of ministry and…burn up.
Many of you know I started training a few months ago for the Austin Half Marathon. A few weeks back, I had to sit out for over 3 weeks due to an IT band issue, so I'm pretty far behind on my mileage. Taking time to 'rest' was hard. Especially when your heart is to be out hitting the pavement. But rest is essential on our journey. Rest is recreation and re-creation. It is NOT better to burn out than fade away.
Plastic models should burn up.
Roman Candles should burn out.
You and I should not. Today, two men in my church told me I needed rest before I reached 'terminal velocity'. On Monday, a deacon in my church told me that I looked really tired. I should probably take their advice, huh?
But right now I gotta get back to finishing up plans for our big weekend tomorrow…pass the Monster.