Following

Sometimes I just don't get it.  No matter how hard I try. Have you ever had an amazing thing happen in your life?  You know, the kind of event that "changes" you?  The kind of event that makes you take inventory of your life and assess where you are and what you're doing?  The kind of event that leaves you inspired to make changes, do things different, and never go back to the way it was?

The Afters have a song entitled "Never Going Back to O.K."  Ever felt like that?

This amazing, life-altering, heart-changing, direction-focusing thing happens, and you promise, you swear, you VOW that you are going to make changes ...

"I'm going to stop doing this ..." "I'm going to quite doing that ..." "I'm going to make sure that I do more of ..." "I need to make sure to do less of ..."

You know what I mean?

How long did it last?  Seriously.  How long before you started doing what you were going to stop?  How long before you quite doing what you said you were never going to stop doing?  How long before you started doing more of what you were going to do less of, and started doing less of what you were going to do more of?

How long?

I totally understand Paul's comments about always doing what he didn't want to do instead of doing what he was supposed to do, but wasn't doing.  I get it.  I understand it.

And I hate it.

I hate that God opened my eyes and heart to a different reality of His work and plan and less than a week later I feel myself being sucked back into the minutia of ... following Him.

Hear me correctly, I am struggling with following Him.  That's right.  I'm a pastor and I'm struggling with following Jesus.

Don't blame Him; it's not the Leader's fault.

Why do we make things so hard?  Why does the "church" confuse everything?  Why do we make following Jesus so difficult?  We take something as simple as "drop your nets, and follow me," and twist it into a list of expectations, rules, doctrines, insinuations, and allusions.  We make following Jesus harder than it already is!

Jesus said that following Him would cost us everything, and yet we (Christians) tend to make it even harder!

I know this is a tired thought, but why can't we make following Jesus all about following Jesus and less about "building" a church?  Why can't being His disciple be more about Him and less about our "spiritual growth?"  If we all did our best to follow Him, wouldn't we BE building the Church?  Wouldn't we BE the Church that's being built?

Doesn't my "growth" result from passionately following Him, not from trying to be more "like" Him?  Instead of trying to be LIKE Jesus shouldn't I just want to BE Him?  His likeness?  His reflection?  His image?

Should the goal be for people to say, "I see Jesus," - emphasis on HIM, instead of saying, "You look like Jesus," - emphasis on US?

Why the rant today?  Because I'm tired.  I'm exhausted with all of the frustrations of serving in the church today.  I'm tired of hearing people say things like,

"Why can't the music be turned down?" "Why are people wearing shorts at church?" "Why aren't there more studies for me to grow?" "Why can't we sing more hymns?" "Why aren't we hearing more of the Bible?" "Why can't we hear less of the Bible and more practical stuff?"

And I'm frustrated that I am not strong enough or passionate enough or following Him hard enough to not get sucked into it all.

It isn't the leader's fault, it's the follower's fault - the followers plural, and the follower singular.

It's my fault.  So ...

  • Today I long to leave the road of "self" and return to the path of following Jesus.
  • Today my desire is to stop thinking about appeasing Christians and start thinking about pleasing Christ.
  • Today my heart cries out to be a follower and not a leader.
  • Today my deepest passions are for serving better and loving harder in place of "trying to grow."
  • Today I want to be more about being a disciple of Christ instead of being a pastor in a church.
  • Today I want to see past the minutia of ministry and see the beauty of following Jesus.

Today I just want to be a little boy following in the big steps of my Savior.

Don't you?

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