We will all answer this question with different answer. I am curious how you would answer it. For me it is not being in charge. I don’t get to set the direction. I don’t get to chart the course. Jesus is in charge and he is on the move. I get to follow him wherever he goes and it isn’t always where I want.
We see this in John 21 when Jesus predicts Peter’s death but seems to say John will be around for a while. Jesus doesn’t take his followers by the same route, even if we all end up in the same destination.
That also troubles me at times because it doesn’t always seem equitable. Put more directly, from our frame of reference, it isn’t equitable. God does treat people differently. But he knows us best and like a good father knows his children don’t all need the same things. He treats us as we actually need, not as we think we need. He treats us in a non-comparative way where we keep wanting to ask Peter’s question, “What about him?”
I like being in charge. I like going where I want to go. I like doing what I want to do. But it isn’t always right or best or even best for me. This is why I try (and often fail) to submit to his Lordship.
What do you find most difficult about being a disciple of Jesus?
Maintaining focus. In Jeremiah 29 around 12 God tells the elders in exile that he will hear their prayers when they focus on him. Such a simple thing to do, yet in our busy world with all of its distractions from every point on the compass it is a challenge many times. The older we get we know by experience that God was giving wise counsel to the leaders of isreal who are in captivity in a foreign land. Isn’t it the same with us? Aren’t we being held captive in a foreign land? Time after time God demonstrates to us by his actions and words that everyday living for us is much less stressful when we maintain our focus on him. When I run into difficulitiesin this life I’ve found that my fathers solutions to those problems are always dynamically much better than anything that I can come up with when a solution is needed.
Great point and extremely difficult to do. This seems to get more difficult as technology tries to get more and more of our attention.
I find it to be dealing with the church. To anyone under 55, it’s wait your turn. To those who would like to serve on a committee, it’s we have enough people. To those who are willing to volunteer their skills for the church, it’s we have someone (inner circle but less competent) who handles that. To those who would like to enter leadership, it’s not possible. To anyone young, it is hard to learn the faith when the sermon is different from what is taught in Sunday school. To anyone who needs atypical pastoral care, it isn’t really available.
Trying to see Jesus past the Pauline theological arguments that I have been raised in. Jesus shows us love and compassion, beyond what the church should do, to make it what the saint should do. We want to be strict followers, even while we read Jesus says “I cam to seek and save the lost” all the while helping the downtrodden. Jesus was a holistic Savor, bringing love, mercy and grace to the whole person.
Even Paul showed some love and compassion if you read enough of his writings at one time, then read the portion of Torah or prophets he was referring to, and don’t take verses out of context. The lectionary helps. The cofC typically not reading the Bible out loud in the service does not help matters. I had a hard line cofC member respond to me on a blog that there is no provision in the bible for a bible reader. I guess he had never read the portion of gospel where Jesus read from Isaiah in synagogue. While I don’t like CENI, it Sure looks like the E to me.
Mark, I agree…Paul did talk of compassion, but that isn’t what we usually focus on in the coC.