On the First Day
I just came from a gathering of Christian pastors and lay people at the beautiful Lake Junaluska retreat center in the mountains of North Carolina. So much hesitation. So many who desire to do things just right. Studying. Learning. Talking and listening. Planning. Figuring. Waiting. And oh yes, worshiping and praising God. But there is just so much marking time and not very much moving ahead.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in a hurry to head off in the wrong direction. But can we please get moving? We only have so much time, we really don’t know HOW much, to reach those who don’t yet know God, the God we have met in Christ.
Many times in my life I have been guilty of waiting too long. Waiting until I have all the answers. Until I have studied the problem from all angles. Until I have exhausted all the resources. Until I am sure. Until it’s too late. I don’t want to be too late any more.
At least for me, I want to be one who prepares and then steps out in faith, even though I haven’t got all the answers. One who goes, trusting the words meant to be said will come. One who offers, trusting there will be enough. One who tries, trusting that my strength will be satisfactory and in my shortcomings Christ will be sufficient. Sure, there will always be a little uncertainty, but that’s where faith comes in, and where I must be willing to learn. To be flexible, change course, ask for help, drop back 10 and punt…
I am a Christian meant to move. Moving is how I serve, how I learn, how I live. And I suspect it is how I will learn how to live. I have the best Teacher. Today, on the first day – of the rest of my life – I pray I may be His willing student. I will try on Discipleship and see how it fits. But very likely I will be pulling on the sleeve as I run out the door.
Because the world I live in is where I am meant to make a difference for Christ. Because I am an athlete, a coach and a fitness professional, the field of play is my ministry zone. There I find a mission as sacred as any pulpit in any congregation. There comes a time when we must stop the pre-game warm up and start the game.
Today, I kick off.