Smiles and Zombies

GUEST POST: I’m excited to introduce our first guest contributor to POP GOD – Sean Taylor. Sean is the Pastor of Chandler Baptist Church of Missouri. Sean was also a mentor to me when I first began pursuing ministry when we worked together at First Baptist Augusta. Sean is one my favorite writers and blogs at Plunge47.org. Check him out and enjoy his first contribution to POP GOD:

Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 1.44.56 PMThe Photographer said the first take was a “serious” photo. Every youth group veteran knows that means don’t act crazy – smile like it is a family portrait. The next photo will be titled a “crazy” or “silly” photo. Then everyone will jump around and throw up bunny ears and pull out buck teeth… only the photographer followed the first photo by saying, “Okay, now please smile for this picture.

Instantly she realized her mistake. But it was too late and when the cross-country team poster came out, there she stood a smile amidst frowns…

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Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 1.45.10 PMIn the Thailand rain forest a fungus turns ants into zombies. An infected ant becomes erratic as its brain is slowly taken over. Then the fungus directs the ant to a place in the forest with the right temperature and moisture.

The ant climbs up and out onto a leaf and bites into the vein of the leaf. This gives the fungus the nutrients to grow. Poison is released killing the ant’s body.

Eventually, as the fungus multiplies, a stalk breaks out of the ant’s head. Pods form which will burst with spores and start the process over again. (For more Zombie Ant details check out National Geographic or Wired Magazine)

The thought of Zombie Ants freaks me out. I imagine it takes only a few genetic mutations and the fungus makes the jump to mammals. Maybe a rare pigmy mouse will be infected. Then zebras. And eventually you will find friends biting into tree trunks.

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Her parents proudly displayed the cross-country team poster. When I saw it I had not heard the backstory, but I knew this teenager.

She is filled with joy. Filled with the love of Christ. Her life really is a smile among frowns.

Right when I saw the picture I thought of my own little girls. I want my daughters to grow up in the same way. I hope they burst with joy in a world of frowns. I pray they break with the norm and live out the joy of Christ.

This should be the image of the church. Rather than stumbling around chewing on the world’s desires, we should be living out the relationships of Christ. Living out our Faith, our Hope, our Love. Living out the only things that will remain, the only things that matter, the only things that bring real joy.

The church should create a new picture of life. Our image should not be of our business meeting fights. Or of our pews filled with sleepy eyes. The image should be of faces bursting with smiles. The joy of the redeemed.

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