At Parker UMC we have started a series called, “Not A Fan.” by Kyle Idleman. Yesterday we watched the first of six video lessons and had some really great discussion about the content. This morning the first question asked in the follower’s journal is, “What stood out to you from lesson 1?” Many who will read this will not have had the chance to see the video presentation, which was done very well in my opinion. The story line so far is a father, likely in his mid forties, has a heart attack and dies. Kyle is working through and with the family and friends as they take the very difficult steps through the next stage of life. As he walks among them the conversations show various viewpoints of God and how things ‘work’ in God’s realm.
It is easy to sit and criticize all of the different points of view. It is very easy to say something like, “Well, it is obvious they don’t understand Jesus at all!” My thoughts are definitely not their thoughts. In my arrogance I wonder how they could ever think these things about God, as if I had the exact correct answer and fully understood all that is going on in the world. Even the understanding of the role of the pastor in that moment caused me to ask what would George do in that situation. My thought is I would likely over-react. I know that I have never argued anyone into loving Jesus more. Where I get stuck is my desire to fix them, to give them the right answers and solution to their questions. Deep down I want to say, “Where did you come up with that idea?”
We all have questions and struggles in this life. Even the question from week one, “Are You a Fan or Follower?” is very daunting to ask and answer. What does it mean to give everything to follow Jesus? We cannot change the time in which we are living. We cannot decide to try living in a different period of time. We are alive now in this world at this time. We are all on our very own path from birth to death. We are fortunate to be alive wherever we are living. So, is our relationship with Jesus just one more thing we fit into our lives? Luke 9:23, “Jesus said to everyone, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me.” That is a loaded sentence.