Thinking Out Loud

April 1, 2008

Blocking Peoples’ View

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — searchlightevents @ 5:07 pm

Whenever I tell someone that one of the earlier influences on my spiritual formation was Pat Robertson, they inevitably roll their eyes.    But it’s true.   The Pat Robertson I knew was the one described in his bio, Shout It From The Housetops, who taught a half hour program called The Lesson and who was genuinely trying to reach the world with the good news through television.   Far from getting wealthy off ministry, the bio’s back cover describes the life that Robertson came from — son of a U.S. senator etc. — and begins, “What if the rich young ruler had sold all he had…?”

The Pat Robertson most people know is the guy who ran for President of the U.S., was involved in a number of business deals and who occasionally makes outrageous political comments.    That is not the one to which I refer.

This morning, as I was breathing a quick morning prayer, my thoughts went back to a story in the bio, a story that happened while he was hosting The 700 Club. While much Christian television started as legitimate teaching and ministry and has deteriorated into nothing but fundraising, The 700 Club began as a fundraising telethon on which Robertson would have short teaching segments and pray for people.   Soon people were wanting that format on a daily basis, so the show continued without being a telethon.

As the story goes, Robertson was on the air when he heard an unmistakable voice telling him,  “Get out of the way.”   He ignored it at first, but then again there was this voice — the Holy Spirit speaking to him — saying “Get out of the way.”

Inwardly, Robertson started to figure out what this meant in practical terms.   Logically, if he stepped out of the way, that would mean stepping out of the camera shot, and people at home would be staring at a blank screen.

The voice came again this time with greater clarification, “Get out of the way, and let people see My glory.”

On Sunday at the church I attended, the worship leader talked about her goal for the worship team to facilitate worship by minimizing distraction.   Distraction is just one element that can short circuit the spiritual growth of others.   There are many times I’m sure where God’s glory wants to shine through to others, but we are blocking their view.   Our attitudes.   Our personality.   Our inane comments.    Our rapid fire responses.   Our missing what others are saying.   Our spiritual immaturity.   Our preoccupation with our church, our projects, our ministry. Our self-absorption.

God’s glory is standing by, waiting for an opportunity, but all anybody can see is me.

God can use us, but there are times we need to get out of the way.    And sometimes, if that means all people see for a few moments is a blank screen, well maybe we should get out of the way anyway.   God’s glory is somewhere nearby waiting to be seen.



  1. […] an original post I wrote on the same subject on April 1st this year.   Well, somebody wrote it.  I already forgot to try to be […]

    Pingback by Making Ourselves Invisible « Thinking Out Loud — November 18, 2008 @ 9:19 pm

  2. […] it to us today.   I was there, but you didn’t leave me any room in the program.   (See this post, Blocking Peoples’ View from exactly one year ago, for another way of describing […]

    Pingback by The Presence and the Perfunctory « Thinking Out Loud — March 31, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

  3. […] would say it to us today. I was there, but you didn’t leave me any room in the program. (See this post, Blocking Peoples’ View from exactly three years ago, for another way of describing […]

    Pingback by Turning Up The Spiritual Volume « Thinking Out Loud — March 17, 2011 @ 8:06 am

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