Mike Yaconelli, a guy I was really growing to admire from a distance, died last night in a car accident. Mike was an enigmatic, counter-cultural icon who managed to retain that edge for three or four decades. He was a revolutionary thinker in youth ministry back (way back) when my Dad was a youth guy, and he continued to inspire and teach and serve and lead to his last days. His heart beat for students, but his contributions as a champion of grace and Christ-following are Kingdom-wide. You’d do yourself a favor to give a few short hours of your life to this book: Messy Spirituality – God’s annoying love for imperfect people.
It’s wild how we can be lulled into a numbness to one of the most obvious, undisputed realities in life — physical death comes to us all, and we don’t get to pick when any more than we got to pick our birth date. Oddly, it often takes the end of someone of personal significance to us (even if we don’t actually know them, as in this case with me) to sort of shake us from that ignorance or avoidance or whatever it is. We may be able to escape thoughts of death for a season, but there’s no escaping its eventual reality. Tonight I’m thankful for death-swallowing Victory…for Mike, for you, and for me.