Listen to: Chris Tomlin "I Will Follow"
It’s less than two weeks from our trip out West, and we are still experiencing the lingering effects of that visit. The appreciation of being in a new environment, exposed to something grand and different has helped us see our regular environment with new eyes, open to new adventures. Just by stepping back and getting away a shift occurs, making a different vision and perspective conceivable. Ultimately it renews the spirit, fosters hope and a renewed appreciation for what we have and for what is possible.
Reading the gospels, it is not surprising to see Jesus traveling all the time. He was a man on the move. He didn’t wait for people to come to him (although they did). He went out and traveled throughout Galilee, on the east side of the Jordan River, through Samaria, Judea and of course to Jerusalem. While he certainly stopped in synagogues to teach, we are more apt to find him teaching, curing, exorcising demons along the road, in people’s homes, over meals and out in the open. Jesus was on the go as was the apostle Paul after him. He found inspiration in moving around, encountering new situations, embracing new people and engaging with them. That’s how the gospel spread and a new movement was born.
We have become very sedate in our habits. Nothing fixes us in our ways than the same old routine. Don’t get me wrong, routines are important: they provide us with continuity, security and purpose. However we are created for more than routine. We are created to grow spiritually. This can only open in the encounter with new people, new opportunities and challenges. The Spirit wants us to develop our potential which can only happen when we embrace the unknown “other” and integrate that experience into our lives.
We don’t half to travel half-way around the world to have new experiences. We just have to get out into our neighborhood. Volunteer – at a hospital, a food pantry. Develop a new ministry that meets a need in your community. Try something new. Find ways to bring the church into the community instead of waiting for the community to come to the church. This way we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, growing in Spirit and truth.
Prayer: "God of the Journey, make us curious about your world and send us out. Help us learn new things, meet new people and share your love with whomever we meet. Amen"