Direction, Road Maps, & Leaps of Faith (Song Story – Dusty Road)

a1623804323_16We live in the wake of Easter, we are a people who live in the aftermath of life changing events; Jesus’ death and resurrection. We’ve come through the seasons of Advent, waiting in anticipation for the coming of Christ. We’ve celebrated the birth of Christ and the beginning of His ministry on Earth. We’ve followed Jesus into and out of the dessert during Lent, we’ve witness (metaphorically of course) Jesus’ moments of profound teaching and miraculous healing, and we’ve been inspired to live as He did. We’ve journeyed the passion; Jesus final actions and brutal death upon a cross. And we stand in the aftermath of the resurrection. It’s been a long journey. But, now what? What do we do now? We weren’t prepared for this… well we were, but we thought it would be different.

In the wake of the cross, what authority do we follow? For the disciples, Jesus was the leader and it seemed like if they followed Him, they’d be OK. He’d answer the tough questions, sort of. He’d tell them the best way to do things. He’d call them out on the water, even when everything inside of them was screaming “No You’ll Sink!” But, now we are all on our own. Jesus is gone. What do we do now?

I’ve wrestled with the question for a long time, and still continue to wrestle with it. Is what I’m doing what Jesus envisioned His disciples looking like thousands of years after His resurrection? How do people, with a history like ours continue to live as Christ lived, here and now? What does it mean to be lead by the Holy Spirit? How does it work?

In the Fall semester of my 4th year of university I sat in a bit of a conundrum. I was a fairly ignorant 21 year old, who had reluctantly gone to university in pursuit of some sort of musical break and discovered a new kind of Christianity, one that I had no idea even existed. It was a religion where I could safely confess disbelief in God and receive outstanding support and encouragement. It was a place that would enter into the tough questions about God and life that everyone else seemed to be so afraid of. It was a community that pushed me into a deeper relationship with God than I had ever experienced. Yet, here I was in my 4th year, with no idea what I was going to do and certainly didn’t feel like I had any direction from God.

I remember a conversation with my philosophy professor, who also happened to be the pastor at the church I was attending, whom I confessed this to. He said, God really doesn’t care what you do, as long as you do it. – It was a new concept for me. If I am open to it, God will use me in whatever I’m doing. Which makes sense right? But, then the question arises, how does that actually work? Sure it’s a cute little quote that I can feel good about. But, how does that actually help me here and now?

It was during this time in my 4th year of university where I began regularly praying. Like more than at meals and when I really wanted something. I began praying that God would tell me what to do and where to go. That He would just show me His plan so I could follow it to the letter.

Part of these times of prayer I entered into were written. And one morning I wrote these words in my notebook

“I’ve plotted my roots against the wind expecting a sign of reckoning. I’m wading like a fish swimming against the current, hoping for a line to pull me out…”

It was how I was feeling. How I often felt, and how I still feel some days. I felt like no matter what I did, God wasn’t giving me a chance. I’d say, “God just tell me what to do and I’ll do it!” And it didn’t even feel like someone was listening.

A few weeks later I our pastor, was preaching on when Jesus approached some fisherman, who were cleaning their nets. He said “Hey, come follow me” and without hesitation they dropped their stuff and went off and followed Jesus. Now they may have known a bit about Jesus. But, not enough to make any kind of informed decision or radical lifestyle change. Yet they felt something inside them say, “Go”

Later on in Matthew Jesus says:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Jesus doesn’t say: “Take up your cross and follow me to this place for a couple days, then we’ll head over here, and we’ll end up over there” There’s no itinerary. And I think this is where faith comes into play.

“Take up your cross and go. Even if you don’t know where you’re going”

I think this is Jesus’ message for us as individuals, but also as a body of Christ. Just do it. Live the life that Jesus did. Yes there are some details that the Bible doesn’t cover. It’s not all laid out in black and white, there is no road map. But, go and do it; and invite God into it.

To finish up my story, I began seeking out internship opportunities in churches around the country. And I was on Twitter one day and saw my friend Dan had retweeted something about a church in Ottawa. A church that was doing something similar to the community I was in. And Selina, who was my girlfriend at the time, said something to the effect of, “might as well send them your resume too” and I did. And through a long series of events that I would call spirit-led, I am now here. And

Through that entire experience I’ve come to understand what my professor meant Seek God first in whatever you’re doing. Invite God in to whatever you’re doing. Lay your burdens down and pick up His cross, and walk down that dusty road to who knows where.

The words in my notebook eventually turned into a song:

We’ve plotted our roots against the winds
Expected signs of reckoning

Wading like fish through currents strong
Hoping for a line to pull us out

Take your cross and go down dusty roads
From what you’ve known
And notice in the streets, His face you’ll see
Go with Him in peace

Searching the sand for gold
Machining an excuse for lonely souls

Troubled by cold we shut our doors
And kept warm huddled close to brave the storm

Take your cross and go down dusty roads
From what you’ve known
And notice in the streets, His face you’ll see
Go with Him in peace

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