“It’ll be a great opportunity!” “I know you’re always up for a challenge!” “It will be like a grand adventure!” Hmm. On the outside I’m enthusiastically nodding, largely because I don’t want to be thought a wimp, but deep inside the misgivings are growing. I can’t help but remember the many other times when I succumbed to the internal sense of pressure only to quickly regret it. Like my one (and only) foray into bungee jumping, a brief moment of weakness followed by a long and strenuous conversation with myself, standing on a precipice 100 feet above the ground. The plunge wasn’t an opportunity nor an adventure. It might have been called a challenge, but only in the way we little boys used to “challenge” each other to lick a frozen telephone pole (You remember the “triple-dog dare?”). When I finally jumped, I really thought it was terrible... and I was glad that it was over. Very glad.
Having said that (in much more detail than first intended), I’ve been pondering how to best present where we’re heading in the next several months! The word “challenge” keeps coming around, but the paragraph above might, at least a little bit, explain the dilemma. This can’t be a “challenge” if, by its use, we intend to draw you into something you might otherwise dismiss, for that is far from the purpose! It is an opportunity and might well become an adventure, but in terms of capturing your imagination, it’s much more.
For the past seven weeks, the Elders have been working through the book Walking As Jesus Walked, and have frequently noted how it is at once both simple and profound. Drawing from the words of John in his letter to the church, “...whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6), the author, Dann Spader, takes us on a 10 week, 5-days-a-week exploration of how and why Jesus walked with Father and how He modeled this walk with Father for his disciples. The study naturally leads to an examination of what we need if we are to walk like Jesus walked. The purpose clearly is that we would become 21st century disciples who still bear the indelible likeness of Jesus.
Back to the opening, this Fall we’d like to invite you to join us on this journey, and here’s how you can:
• Grab a Walking As Jesus Walked book from the table in the lobby. It is a workbook format, so you’ll likely need one for each person rather than sharing it with someone. (Leave $8 per book in the box, if you can afford it. If you can’t, no problem; we want you to join us either way!)
• Starting the week of September 22, make time five days a week for the study. (you can usually do a study in as little as 15 minutes, but consider taking a bit more time to let it soak!)
• Bring your books with you each Sunday (Sep. 29 thru Dec. 2), as the messages will be based on what you explored the previous week.
Our hope is that, by December, we’ll have not only gained a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Disciple of Jesus, but we’ll have sharpened our focus and grown to make “walking like Jesus walked” a way of life. A tall order? Maybe; but only in contrast to the dumb stuff that occupies our minds and hearts these days. This is, remember, about becoming what we were meant to be!
So, will you join us? Challenge, adventure, or opportunity...really it’s all that, but much more.