Follow Me is a game we learned first as children. It’s a game of pursuit reduced to a single goal—just track the leader. It’s easy to play and carried more fun that its simplicity suggested. As children we played it as a game. We didn't know it would be repeated as our first faith steps with Christ.
The mystery of tomorrow and the uncertainty of circumstance combine to elevate our anxiety. Not knowing. Not seeing. We hesitate to embrace the very thing we long for, an opportunity to begin again. How do we resolve our regrets of yesterday and our fears of tomorrow?
We’re prone to treat the Bible like a textbook and we’re cramming for a test. We know how to read, analyze, colour code, timeline, and graph the Scriptures, (all good!) but meditation is a neglected skill.
There are some things about God I take for granted. They are truths so deeply embedded they have become assumptions. But what I see as assumptions were once stunning revelations.
The daily nourishment of grace to our souls overshadows loss. Glory illuminates darkness. All of this is good theology but it tends to stay in our heads. What practical difference does it make when I confront living changes? Sickness. Aging. Injury. Abandonment. Death. How does this truth equip me to navigate the gains and losses of change in my life?
Rather than being responsible for the sprouting of many trees, God called me to focus on the growth of my own soul. He forced my attention inward, to consider the sapless, barren, wooden state of my heart. I didn’t have to bear the burden of worry over the weather or come up with new agricultural techniques. I wasn’t responsible for the orchard—there was a divine Gardener tending His field. This way of ministry was new to me.
Bible preachers, teachers, and readers tend to approach the Bible solely as a source of information, looking for instructions or directions. We employ a Google methodology, hoping for instant answers. That's what we do; but there's another way.
It sounds like a cliché, but the best is yet to come. The far side of 50 is a good place to be. Despite the losses, aging is not about losing.
The job description of a parent is pretty basic. We're to prepare our children for life and eternity. Of course, that entails instruction in a myriad of tasks—from brushing teeth and good dating habits, to undiluted character and a spiritual heart. The list of parental objectives is daunting enough, but I dare to add one more.