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Friday, August 30, 2013

The Grand Adventure that Is Christianity

John Wesley

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.
~~ John Wesley

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
(Habakkuk 3:19 NIV)

Give me a clear image of the extraordinary life you want for me, perhaps full of unexpected adventures. Let me stretch my heart and love more people, making my life more full of kindness and grace. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. (Through the Year with Jimmy Carter, page 244).

I would like to take a few moments this evening to address one of the sometimes overlooked aspects of Christian life – Christian witness as the pathway to grand adventure. Christians believe that they are to be a witness for Jesus 24/7. This sets the stage for there never being a dull moment. Christians are always on call. The result is a life filled with grand adventure in which our God is never too small nor our jobs never too small nor large. I’m well aware of the saying that there are no small matters. That is, we should never discount any opportunity no matter how small in our judgment (certainly not in God’s). On the other hand, we must never underestimate or undervalue the influence we can have. We must never discount the present and dream only of some remote future period of relevancy and usefulness. The time is always now; the place is always here; the means are always in our grasp; people are never outside the reach of our influence; the task is not done until God calls us home. Christianity imbues life with vitality and purpose—we are never without a circle of influence in which God would have us blossom. If we feel we are in a barren place devoid of critical, impending opportunities; then we are the dejected dupes of the devil rather than being the agile servants of God.

If I could give a quick example I would refer again to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when Huck questioned if he should oppose the accepted and “politically correct” social Goliath of slavery and help Jim escape from its grasp. Certainly, isolated and insignificant as Huck was—a mere ragamuffin adrift on the vast Mississippi—this should have been on all accounts a moment of abject surrender and helpless dejection. Rather, Huck saw it correctly as a watershed moment for ethical decisiveness in which all the weight of his apparent insignificance did not mattered one whit. Rather than self-defacement and debasement, he undertook a grand adventure deriving from awareness of and sensitivity to a sacred inner moral compass steady-bearing upon friendship and sturdy love.

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