Monday, November 07, 2005

faith + life = risk

It’s amazing sometimes how people that don’t even know you (or each other) speak into your life in the same way.

Two weeks ago my pastor Rich gave a sermon entitled “Just Jump In” as part of the annual stewardship season series. He began with a hilarious illustration from his youth of encountering the high diving board for the first time, and how his fear almost deprived him of the exhilarating experience of jumping. Once his knees stopped knocking and he gathered his courage to take the plunge, he was so excited that he couldn’t wait to do it again.

This past Saturday I was in Dallas, listening to Dan Kimball and Marcus Goodloe talk about the challenge of accepting God’s call and being willing to go wherever he leads. Dan shared a personal story of letting go of a relationship and trusting God to meet his needs. Marcus passionately articulated the need for disciples of Christ to truly listen to God in the way that the prophet Samuel did early in his life, to hear what God desires for us in our lives.

Last night I had dinner with my friend Susie who expressed admiration when I told how I was led away from my intended career path in law into the realm of community development and service, and how I accepted that change without fear or hesitation. I was humbled by the way that simple story encouraged my friend. We talked about how difficult it can be to change course after making plans, even if we feel like God is showing us the way.

Then, this morning in my email box came this profound thought from the mouth of Martin Luther (via Bruderhof Daily Dig):
Discipleship is not limited to what you can understand – it must transcend all comprehension. Plunge into the deep waters beyond your own understanding, and I will help you to comprehend. Bewilderment is the true comprehension. Not to know where you are going is the true knowledge. In this way Abraham went forth from his father, not knowing where he was going. That is the way of the cross. You cannot find it in yourself, so you must let me lead you as though you were a blind man. Not the work which you choose, not the suffering you devise, but the road which is contrary to all that you choose or contrive or desire – that is the road you must take. It is to this path that I call you, and in this sense that you must be my disciple.
I frequently feel I do not know where I am going. Even when I have specific plans (like going to Nicaragua for 3 years), I still have this abiding sense that I have no idea where my life is going. But I am listening…willing to jump…willing to take the road as a blind child in faith.

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