I read them in Reedming Love by Francine Rivers and I saw them again last night in THe Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning.
WHen I think of those words, I think of an adventure. I see images of distant seas and my mind conjures the smell of sand and the sound of rushing waves.
Last night I had a dream that someone wrapped their arms around me and whispered, "you are precious to God."
I woke up this morning believing it for the first time in quite a while. As humans, it is in our nature to often squash ourselves down and listen to the lies that we don't matter. We are quick to listen to the voice of self condemnation, but if we are to trust God, then we must learn to ask..Father, how do you see me? Who am I to you?
He summed it up best when He said that He loves you. It is His will that none should perish, but that all should enter into His saving grace.
Today, I thought of the concept of Christianity as an adventure. Imagine. The disciples were oridinary fisherman. They engaged in the same routine ho hum existence day after day. They go home after a hard day's work, and the very next day is the same. The days merge together. one by one, the days pass, uneventful...
and then, one day a Man is walking along the seas of Galilee. He spends time with them, and they gather that He is no ordinary man. He says, "Follow me." "Come away, My Beloved," and they leave behind their ho hum lives and they follow. They have no idea where they are going. They leave behind all of their things, because those things no longer really even matter.
What matters, is that they know, in their hearts, that they are a part of something big and beautiful, and much larger than themselves.
They follow...not because they are forced to follow...Jesus didn't wave harsh words in front of them or threaten them with an iron rod. He spent time with them. He listened to their stories, and they knew that He loved them.... They knew that nothing on this earth would even compare to a single moment with Him, so they forsook all that they had, and they set out..trusting a loving Father to guide them.
They were never once sorry that they left behind their fishing gear. They never expressed pity or regret and spoke of missing their ho hum, lackadaisical life on the shore. They knew that they were with the one who leads beside still waters, and that the journey, although very difficult at times, was somehow, an adventure.
They met people. Interesting people. People from various backgrounds and socioecomic status. They dined with them. They passed out bread on a mountaintop and learned that, when we share the things that we have, the loving hand of the Father, takes what we offer, and multiplies..
No, they never once regretted their journey. Thier journey was one of Truth. They set out to find Truth, and they found it by following a man who loved endlessly and unconditionally. A man who simply bid people to put down their stones, washed the feet of those who followed Him, and showed that the way to Heaven wasn't by being holy and self righteous, but being willing to love by putting others first.
I love how Jesus never preached His sermons in one place. He took his messages the seashores, to the tops of the mountains, and to the people on the street. He never deemed anyone unworthy of the love and the message that HE had to offer.
This is the journey to which we are called. The journey of following the One who died for our sins, and somehow, if we look deep down into it.. if we read the story, we will see that it is an adventure. An adventure that was so real that even the disciples rejoiced in harship and even to the death, were able to speak, "To live is Christ, to die is gain,"
Come Away, My Beloved.. The more I hear the call of someone who loves me, the more willing I am to put away ho hum daily monotony and drudgery of routine, and simply walk the path that leads to life..where love abounds and, though there are the valleys of death, there is the One who comforts.
Friends, you are precious to God.