Saturday, July 22, 2006

"Come with me if you want to live"

I decided to take a popular movie quote and twist it to serve my purposes. Good ol' Arnold Swarzenhooser said it in The Terminator but it reminds me of a few other things. I've mentioned in a previous post that I'm reading Uprising by Erwin McManus and I'm really loving it. I've been finding myself resonating with what he writes about so of course I'm going to like the book. It's really all about living, actually living and not just existing. I've found that this last year or possibly year and a half I've just been existing for no other purpose than to do so. I have to be honest, I've never really been comfortable with that idea but have often, well almost always found myself just existing and never really living.
Basically the premise of his book is to point people to the call of God on our lives to live, in some respects dangerously, but essentially to live like Jesus. I mean if you think about it, what was Jesus saying to his disciples when he told them to follow him? And this is where I twist the quote, he was basically saying "come with me if you want to live." He called Peter and Andrew, James and John out of their boats from their plain old lives and offered them something different. He called Matthew from being a tax collector (one of the more despised professions of the time) to follow him. He was drawing those guys from the monotony of their old lives to take them places they never would have even dreamed, from merely existing to experiencing life.
These are things I have been thinking about lately as I find myself preparing for something that I've never done before and frankly am not sure that I'm ready for, being an adult. But it's as if I'm responding to Jesus saying to me "come with me if you want to live." He sees the monotony of my life and knows there's so much more for me to experience if only I'll go. So I'm hoping I've at least taken a step in the right direction by taking a job that I feel completely helpless to do, to experience some incredible acts of God in that context.
I mean think about the lives of the disciples after they chose to follow Jesus, was there really any ordinary day for them? Yeah they kicked back and enjoyed themselves on occasion, Jesus knew the importance of that, but what happened with the rest of their lives after that initial decision? They experienced life, I mean really experienced it. They saw things that nobody could explain, Jesus healed people, drove out demons (taught them to do so as well) he fed thousands in their presence, he caused excitement for them and a few moments of fear as well, and that's before his resurrection! Then after that they kept on going and did some crazy weird things then too! I have to be honest, that's kind of exciting and appealing to me!
I'm kind of tired of always playing it safe all the time, what's the point? Why not step out and do something that otherwise seems stupid or dangerous? Why not talk to that guy that's sleeping in the back alley beside his shopping cart? Why not help that person change their tire on the side of the road? Why not jump out of a plane just for the thrill? Why not stir up the pot a little for the sake of advancing the gospel? Why not ask the pretty girl for her phone number?
Why not? What's the worst that can happen to me? I get rejected? Laughed at? Hated? Persecuted? Chased down? Beat up? Shot at? Kidnapped?
So what? What was Jesus like? He was the type to take some risks, to go out on the limb, knowing he was going to cause some uproar, but he was cool with it. He didn't have any problem with the Pharisees, with the demon possessed, with the outcasts. It's the same thing we've heard a billion times, but why does it never sink in?
The people that I've most admired in life have been the ones who took the chances that people like me were too scared to take. Why did they do it? Conviction, passion, love, service, all the things that I want to be, that's why they did it. So will that be me? Will I get out of the boat and follow, will I leave my tax collector's booth and go? When Jesus says to me, "come with me if you want to live" will I say, "ok, let's go" or will I just stay put for safety's sake?
I want to live. That's what I've decided.

1 comment:

Trevor said...

Ya know its funny. This has been the theme that I have come across a lot recently. I preached last Sunday and talked just about this idea of needing to be safe to serve. We talk so often about comfort and giftedness in ministry. What for? Why do we need to be comfortable serving to do so? I read some stuff today to about this idea of really living. Are you living or are you merely existing? Running off to NB with a huge question as to whether you can do it or not is really the living you're talking about. Run, Run well and we'll see you in Stoon!