“You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.” – Deepak Chopra
Disciple is a fancy word that over-complicates quickly.
What I’m actually learning, and re-learning, and re-learning….is to stop complicating things. Not to stop learning – always keep learning. But at the end of the day, after the theology debate or the sermon given by someone thinking on a much higher level than myself – I’ve gotta come back to Him.
If a disciple is defined as “any follower of Christ” (based on Dictionary.com); then the problem is when ‘follower’ becomes the focal point of the definition, as opposed to Christ.
“Follower” leads our Western minds to ask, “So, what are the five steps to follow Christ well as a Millennial?”. Then we get caught up in discussions that drag away from the point.
Since God is described as a “rock”, and His character is unchanging – Deuteronomy 30 is a resource for the over-analyzing mind;
“This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not beyond your reach….Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.”
We choose life. We are disciples of the only one who can claim that He is life itself. Our focus is not how to follow, but who to follow. Christ.
As I try to explain this I’m thinking about how I often get asked the question by teams or people that meet me when I am traveling, “So, Haiti? How did that happen?”
And I sometimes imagine that they are waiting to hear about my call, or some grand spiritual journey. Sometimes they literally tell me that this is what they are waiting to hear!
Instead I probably confuse them as I say, “I got to Haiti because I started to say “yes” to holding my mouth at work instead of throwing out a joke at someone else’s expense.”
I said “yes” to things that then started to transform my schedule, my patterns, the atmospheres I was in, the relationships I engaged in….and obviously, all of those things make up my life. So life transformed – not all at once, but a decision at a time. And those choices were based on Christ and his dare of something better than what I said no to.
A “yes” to holding my tongue and believing there was something better than being funny at work led to a belief that there was something better in another area of life, and another. And all of a sudden this fresh graduate, ready & smiling with her BSW and the world in front of her, believed that there was probably something better than a dream job in Columbus or jumping into that Master’s program right away.
Disciple…..what a loaded word. But what a simple word. It’s waking up and choosing what your yes is working towards. As you base decisions based the belief C.S. Lewis expressed as he said that “there are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – patterns emerge. You say yes to obedience, to generosity, to service, to authenticity, to community, to forgiveness (or at least you say yes to attempting, and trusting Him to keep growing with you).