Out-LaNd-ISH.

As one of my many perks of being a full time youth pastor’s wife, occasionally Chris will LET me stand on the stage in front of all those impressionable minds and speak mine. Last night was one of those… and I think it hits home for most of us. So here is a reminder, mostly for me, of how very against the norm it is to follow Jesus. And that’s exciting enough.


 

Out-land-ish.

{Its time to be weird because normal isn’t changing anything.}

Impassable Wilderness: no one wanted to build their houses; the forest was too deep and the hills were too steep. And since there were no houses there, no one thought to build a road. And without roads and houses, the place just sort of stayed that way: empty of people. The place, over time, just became more overgrown and more inhospitable. And so, it was named the Impassable Wilderness and everybody knew to steer clear.  (From the book Wildwood by Colin Meloy)

Coming back from #serveny was surely a mountaintop experience. We had ventured into an Impassable Wilderness of sorts and I couldn’t wait to go back or find another one to venture into. I was inspired, rejuvenated, fueling off of the emotional highs our group had experienced together in the name of service. I felt like we needed to look to the horizon, the next BIG thing, go somewhere exotic and unchartered  to feel relevant in following after Jesus, that our everyday life wasn’t extravagant enough to be considered valuable in the ministry of Jesus.

 

Afterall, Jesus traveled all over the WORLD, from the middle east to the Americas and surely he backpacked all over Europe after he finished college to serve and teach. Wait, what? I’m sure I read that here somewhere…

 

Don’t get me wrong, missions are important and necessary and without the intense work of missionaries over thousands of years there are millions more who may not know the goodness of Jesus.  But BIG STROKES aren’t the only way to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

 

In fact, the ministry of Jesus is much more simple than that – and that’s great news for us!

 

We are SURROUNDED by Impassable Wildernesses – relationships, family, school, work, social media, our own self image – every. single. day. But you see, instead of gathering our gear and preparing to trudge right through, we find shortcuts, avoid it all together, take the highway instead of the scenic route.  

shortcut

Here’s the tricky part: Jesus is all about the SCENIC ROUTE.

Let’s look at what he says in Matthew 7:

13-14“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.

15-16“Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say.

 

No Shortcut

And lucky for us, Jesus throws us a couple of road maps – how to cut through the normal and embrace the weird.

  • Matthew 5:43-44 he tells us to love our enemies. He says the world will tell you to hate them, but don’t be like the world, no, be like me – love them all.
  • Matthew 19:30 he says that the least will become the greatest. He warns us that the world will try to tell us that money and wealth are where you’re value is found. Jesus calls shenanigans on that, too. It is the rich in spirit who will be first.
  • John 21:12 he shows us how to do the simple things. How? By inviting the disciples to have breakfast with him after he rose from the dead. BREAKFAST. I can only imagine the looks on their faces – “no big deal, you were dead three days ago, but sure, let’s have coffee.”
  • John 14:12 he makes us a promise, one of many: believe in me and I will do great things through you. Not maybe or if you’re lucky or if you have 1000 followers on social media – just believe.

 

And what I believe, is that Jesus was a little bit weird and a whole lot truth.

labyrinth

So I ask this: Where are the Impassable Wildernesses in your life? Don’t you think its time to get off the highway… because shortcutting only leads to erosion.

NevadaFallfromClarkPoint

It’s time to get weird, because normal isn’t changing anything.

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