How’s your ‘summer’ going? Not exactly seasonal weather is it? But I hope you’re able to take some time to get rested and refreshed from some of the routines that can overwhelm and weary us.
People have all sorts of adventures on holiday, as a quick glance on Facebook will testify! Jungle tours, mountain ascents, cruises, hikes, or perhaps just lazing on a beach soaking up the rays.
We’re all wired up to find different things physically and spiritually restoring, but we’re all called to join in the massive adventure of being disciples of our loving heavenly Father.
A dear friend sent me this excerpt from a book by Lee Strobel recently and it challenged me to my core. I pray it speaks to you too, not in any way as condemning, but more as an encouragement to dive into God’s adventurous plan for us.
(I’ve tweaked it a little to make it easier for us to reflect on what it means personally).
‘Tour-bus Christians’ drive comfortably through life as they gaze out the window at others who are elbow-deep in the daily adventure of serving God and working among spiritually needy people.
‘Tour-bus Christians are insulated from the real-world activity and excitement of God’s work. They may avoid some of the pain that’s involved, and they may protect themselves from the difficulties and struggles, but there’s no real adventure on a tour bus. They don’t experience the tremendous counter-cultural truth that the more a Christian pours himself out serving others in God’s name, the more God will fill him to overflowing. The adventure comes when you tell the tour bus to stop, and you jump off and say:
‘Lord, I want to get into the fray. I want to play a role in the biggest adventure story of all time. Use me to make a difference. Use me to impact a young person for You. Use me to solve someone’s problem. Use me to soothe someone’s pain. Use me to answer someone’s prayer. Use me to feed someone who’s hungry. Use me to rescue a child. Use me to bring someone to You. Use me to ease someone’s loneliness. Use me to raise a godly family. Use me to deepen someone’s faith. Use me to cheer someone on. Use me to help a broken person understand that he is precious in your sight. Use me to touch lives in Your name.’
Tough reading, isn’t it? I wonder how often you, like me, have stayed on the tour bus not wanting to get dirty, out of sheer laziness or out of fear.
The thing is, that’s not living life in all the fullness that God intends for each one of us and, as Paul says in his letter to James:
‘Do not merely listen to the word; and so deceive yourselves. Do what is says. Anyone who listens to the word bus does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.’ (James 1 v22-23)
So my prayer, and I wonder if it might be yours too, is:
Lord, save me from being a tour-bus Christian!
Use me to make a difference in this crazy world, to be a channel of your love and peace.
Don’t let me wait for a mountaintop moment or a burning bush , or to be struck dumb on the road to Damascus.
Keep me awake to every opportunity to mend even the tiniest bit of the world’s brokenness.
Nudge me and kick me off the bus!
Right now. Right here. AMEN.
With love from Debbie (Fellow Adventurer with God)