There’s a saying among Jesus-followers, particularly those doing something they don’t totally understand, for which they see no clear outcome and frankly don't have the money to pay for.
“If He orders it, he pays for it.”
The phrase is both handy and biblical, because rarely does Jesus clear the path, point it out and give you a detailed map. Most of the time you have to start walking toward the forest, with your machete in hand, taking deep breaths as you wonder how overgrown it's going to be.
What a weird paradox following Jesus presents. You must, at once, have incredible courage and huge faith, but the courage and faith cannot be in yourself. YOU have to be trusting, dependent and humble like a child.
Who naturally has that personality? Not me.
Six months ago, I was whining to God, asking for the millionth time: Should I take this path? What about this one? What about that one over there?
Just start walking. He said.
Finally, I did.
Every day now, I wonder what other challenges this forest will present, but I never get an answer. So I just hack away at whatever brush is in front of me. This is how I learn to walk by faith and not by sight. It's not all hard work though, sometimes I get to a clearing and I can rest among the wildflowers and let the sun shine on my face.
Again and again, God repeats his promise to help us, to extend his righteous right hand to go before us, to make a way, where there seems no way. He promises to do that for anyone who asks, but if we remain hermetically sealed inside a world we can easily handle, we never give him the chance to prove it.
If you're bored with your life, it might be that you're twiddling your thumbs inside a life you finished crafting long ago. Quit redecorating it. Knock some walls out. Or maybe even sell it and move.
This beautiful creative work for Johnnie Walker reminds me that Jesus is all forward motion. Or as the Apostle Peter said when Jesus asked if he planned to bail: To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
I know a hundred people who can tell stories of how God faithfully led them through all kinds of jungle in the Congo, in Sudan, in Los Angeles, in their kid’s classroom. And God kept showing up to help them.
But they had to start and keep walking.
William Hutchison Murray said it well:
The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”
So what's the first & smallest step you can take?
- Sitting quietly for five or ten minutes and dreaming a little?
- Writing down those ideas?
- What would you do if you could do anything?
- What is the world-changing idea burning inside you?
- What are you waiting for?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.