SEEK, follow, and go home a different way
I was glued to my computer screen all weekend long, following the amazing FOCUS:SEEK 2019 conference. And while an unhealthy dose of insecurity and jealousy managed to sneak its way into my heart every now and again because well, the devil is real, and rather than allow me to hear God through all of the preachings and teachings, he wanted me to hear how unqualified I am at this whole ministry thing and told me I should probably give it all up and do something else, like clean the bathrooms or meal plan...I am amazed at just how powerfully the Spirit moved from speaker to speaker, and that I SOBBED while live streaming Adoration on Facebook. I can only imagine that if I could have felt as if I were right there in His presence, in the midst of my messy kitchen in my torn Newtown sweatpants, what on earth did all those in attendance experience? A mighty rushing wind comes to mind.
And yet...even the wind stops blowing, right?
And when I shut my laptop (because sorry, Monday morning here means hit the ground running and no time for live streaming) what I faced was this thought: the challenge is on.
The challenge of discipleship.
The challenge of take what you heard and you know and now go and do something with it. No matter how you feel.
Because the real challenge for everyone in attendance, be it in the conference center or in their kitchens glued to a screen...is to remain on fire for Christ. To remain in HIM. To take what was absorbed and turn it into ACTION. To come back to life RADICALLY DIFFERENT. And THAT is so hard.
Because we have a tendency to hoard His grace.
To ingest as much as we can, but never digest it to the point that SHARING it comes naturally.
Because it is not only more comfortable to sit alone with Jesus and feel all the good feelings...but dare I say, it feels awkward and sometimes down right uncomfortable to step out into the unknown, all because of Who you now know. And we all have an unknown. Maybe it is the women at your kid's school. Or your co-worker. Or your spouse. Or your children. Or your actual neighbor who you have never crossed the street to meet. Maybe you have yet to meet your true self?
It is strange...but I have seen this and I still see it and sometimes even I feel it.
We don't want to share Jesus. Even if we love Him. We won't share Him.
For many reasons.
And so everything we hear and see and pray falls flat. The fire dies. Because there is no oxygen.
Seeds on pavement.
We have to stay in the soil.
If we want to be true disciples, we need to get our hands in the dirt and keep on digging.
So I am going to step out into my own dirt...my Monday morning ministry, better known as "pack school lunches and make the kids breakfast and get them all to the school bus"....all the while praying for those at SEEK 2019 who encountered Christ, those who think nothing new happened at all despite the seed buried deep in the pocket of their soul, those who felt like at long last, the door of forgiveness and light has been opened, those who are determined to step out of the hall and back into reality, preaching the Gospel and sharing the encounter they had, no matter how they feel, and no matter who calls them crazy.
Because let's be honest.
Sometimes we just don't feel it.
And sometimes, disciples are crazy.
I mean...the Magi followed a star.
They were crazy.
Or were they?
Because they found Jesus.
They found exactly what their hearts were after.
How many sane people who don't care to know Jesus can say that?
And best of all?
After the Magi's visit, the Gospel tells us that they went home another way.
Because that is what happens when you seek and encounter Jesus.
You are forever changed.
You are no longer the same.
You are a disciple.
You go home another way.
And if you have no idea what SEEK is or what I am talking about, check this out. Especially Lisa Brenninkmeyer (above), Sister Miriam, Deacon Larry Oney, and Emily Wilson.
Make the time to watch these and many others if you have not already.
Seek your own encounter, get your hands dirty, preach whether you feel like it or not, throw more coals on that fire and follow that star...then, like the Magi, go home a different way.