"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

not a fan.

International flights this week have provided me the time to complete Kyle Idleman's book, not a fan. This book is based on the idea that the church has become full of fans and not nearly enough followers.  A fan, by definition, is an enthusiastic admirer who seeks to enjoy all the benefits of their association with a team, individual or cause, with little of the true sacrifice. A follower, by contrast, is “All-In". 

As you might imagine, there are many challenging and convicting points brought about by this premise.  One particular idea that really caught my attention was in the chapter titled, one of many or your one and only. Here, a series of questions are posed to which we are encouraged to give serious thought. Our answers can help determine our current position along the fan to follower path.

  • What is it that really gets us excited?
  • What disappoints or frustrates us the most?
  • For what do we sacrifice our money?

Our answers can clearly alert us to competing affections that overshadow the affection that we have for our relationship with Christ.  {NOTE: This is not a guilt trip or sermon against passions or pursuits outside of our faith. It is, however, a wake-up call to ensure our priorities and purposes are aligned with our spiritual walk.}

These are great questions, however it was the final one that made me really think.

  • When we are hurt, where do we go for comfort?

As runners, we know that pain is part of the deal.  Not necessarily injuries, but certainly pain.  We also have learned where to go to relieve that pain; Advil, ice packs, chocolate milk and, of course, Krispy Kreme.  But honestly, I had to really think about my response to where I turn first when life creates pain. 

Maybe it's job related stress, or family circumstances, or a lab test result, or maybe even having to move away from Davis, California! We all have / will face great pain in this life.  What is our (my) first response? This does not mean that we avoid turning quickly to family and friends, as community support is certainly endorsed through scripture.  However, if we are not turning to Christ first during these times, then we have to consider whether or not our devotion falls short of His expectation.  For me this really has to be a daily reminder and an intentional life long pursuit. I told you this was a challenging thought.

The good news is that the book was such a great read, I finished it on the outbound trip.  The bad news is that now I am stuck with re-reading the airline magazine, most of which is in Portuguese!

"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him" - 2 Chronicles 16:9

1 comment:

  1. So glad you liked this book. It has turned up church in Winchester upside down. Alot of us were stuck in the old traditional church ways. Man were we wrong...I am trying my best to die daily, and pick up my cross and follow him.. Still a work in progress but I really want to enter through the narrow gate.