One of the main things I like about Trip Lee and his book, Rise, is the interplay of reverence and relevance.
The aim at relevance in American culture is common. Cool is ubiquitous. As Mack Stiles says, Most Christians in the world must fear the raised fist; Americans fear the raised eyebrow. It means we are not cool. Not relevant.
But the aim at reverence is rare. Reverence feels old. It feels unexciting. It’s not cool. But everybody knows, deep down, that when reverence goes, all of human life becomes a variety show. Thin. Glib. Shallow. Plastic. Empty. In the end, meaningless.
We were made for more. “Cool is fickle, and we can’t live for it”—the words of Trip Lee. Exactly. Trying to live just to be cool, just to be relevant, is low. And Trip Lee’s voice cries out, Rise!
There is so much more to see, to know, to love, to enjoy. There are realities that are so great they can’t be reduced to fun. The words “fun” “blast” “ball” “party” sound silly in the presence of the greatest and most awesome realities. Our vocabulary of joy has been reduced to “fun” because our taste buds for true majesty have died.
Trip says, “When it comes to morality, all of us have bad taste.” Yes. And when it comes to God we have no taste. As Trip says, “It’s common for eyes to light up when we talk about pop culture, but glaze over when we talk about Christ.” The hills of culture are fun. The Himalayas of Christ are faint.
Trip Lee wants you to know: There is more than hills. Even for young adults there is more. This book is written for those who are young. It is written to give hope to those who feel they have little to contribute. It is written with the conviction that when a young person sees the glory of God everything changes. They Rise!
But the book is mature. It values the mature. It respects age. Trip is wise beyond his years. He sees already what years teach. Every breath is a gift. Every moment a trust.
“Wasting time is insanity. It’s like burning money. The only difference is you can make more money, but you can never make more time.”
I call this a reverence for what counts. Life is precious. And short. Trip is calling you to live for what counts. To live passionately, joyfully. Beyond silly. Beyond cool and clever.
If we are to rise on the Himalayan paths into the glory of God, we must know the way and not slip. “Shallow roots lead to shaky footing, so if we want to stand firm we have to go deep.” Trip is leading you there. Go deep with him in order to go high. Rise.