When Jesus began his ministry, he moved with an incredible sense of urgency. In the Gospel of Mark, the words “straight away” or “immediately” are used more than forty times. If Jesus moved with a sense of urgency, then I want to move with a sense of urgency.
But it’s hard to go full-speed for God. We are naturally wired to want to be in control of everything and to go at a comfortable pace. When we decide to follow Jesus, we surrender our need to be in control. It can certainly be scary, but it can also be rewarding, exciting, and adventurous.
Gary Haugen, founder and leader of International Justice Mission, wrote a book called “Just Courage.” In this book, he described something that happened when he was 10 years old that still haunts him today. He describes a day when he was climbing Mount Rainier with his dad and his brothers. He was the littlest, so the climb was difficult for him.
On this particular day, Gary’s family wanted to reach Camp Muir, but Gary looked at the huge sign full of warnings for the trail ahead and asked to stay at the visitor’s center while they climbed….
After the longest afternoon of his life, his dad and brothers finally came back. They were wet from the snow, famished, dehydrated, and nursing scrapes from the rock and ice, but on the long drive home they had stories about an unforgettable day with their dad on a great mountain. Gary says he realized “I went on the trip and missed the adventure!…
Don’t go on the trip and miss the adventure. Many of us want to follow Jesus only when it’s easy and safe. The moment it gets hard, we tend to lose faith and question God. But safe and easy makes for a boring story….
If you recognized your life was telling a bad story, would you change it? As we start this Red Letter Challenge, remember you are telling a story. You have the opportunity to tell the story of Jesus by what you do and say during this Challenge. And even though it’s not always going to be easy, I guarantee that if you do this Challenge and live by Christ’s words, you will be living a story worth telling.
(Source: Zach Zehnder, Red Letter Challenge, pp. 34-36.)