If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily and follow me. –Jesus Luke 9:23
Close to 20 years ago it seemed I signed on the dotted line when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Nobody coerced me into it; there was no huge pomp and circumstance. There was however a very sweet, small congregation at a Lutheran church that welcomed our young, growing family with wide arms and well meaning Christianese.
Fast Forward: Many years have passed and our young family has grown and flown.
I don’t know why God chose the places where my faith would develop into what it has become so far. So many events too numerous to tell of have brought me to this point where I can have a safe vantage point or view separate from the confusion of Christianese–a language even more difficult to decipher than Mandarin.
One thing I know for sure and for certain is that though I may still have a faint sour taste on my tongue after having shoved off from the institution of religion, my love for Christ has not diminished one iota. I quit attending church religiously, but continued to read the Bible each day. (I do meet with other Christians regularly as well.)
I sift, I sort, I ponder, I pray. I wonder, I stand firm, I run away, I come back. I fail, I succeed, I hate, I love, I try, I quit. Then I get up and try some more. I have spoken wisdom into people’s lives and I have been a terrible excuse for a human being. I’ve murdered, cheated and lied, given birth, been honest, and have been painfully faced with the truth.
One thing that is certain in all my travels down paths of days squandered and fully lived, GOD DOES NOT CHANGE!
Though the name GOD denotes “high above” which He is, He made a way for me to know Him and step into a much better place in my spirit. Clarity–it is a thing. Peace–it does exist. Wisdom–you can obtain some. Love–it’s not just another pretty face.
This is my faith apportioned to me by God. This is my dotted line. This is the grace I’ve received to live unashamed, take up my cross to follow the Lord, Jesus Christ. This is where the rubber meets the road: I put aside my selfish ambitions and get ambitious for those things that are good and right. Kingdom things.
Kindess, charity, generosity, hope. But this dotted line and following through are not easy. You can never count the cost. Jesus already did that on the cross. For you. For me. All I have is today. I can go a little farther. I can try to understand and do only what I can do– facing forward and exercising faith. Not faith in faith, but faith in God. This is my race to run, my row to hoe on His strength, mercy and forgiveness. By the power of His Holy Spirit.
Sign here? Done!
Nothing to lose and Heaven to gain.
Now, saddle up, Missy! We’ve got a trail to blaze.