I like watching movies. Though I prefer movies that are action packed, I firmly believe that everyone enjoys a good love story. For example, the first time I watched the Notebook I was in a dorm full of male athletes; by the end of the film, there was not one dry eye.
There is something magical about a great movie.
A great movie can inspire us to dream of a better life for our families.
When I saw the movie 42, that detailed the struggle Jackie Robinson went through to break the ‘color barrier’ in Major League Baseball, I started to dream about all the things I wanted to accomplish in my life.
I came up with an incredible list of things I dreamed of accomplishing, a story I would be proud to be that main character of, but after awhile I started to feel discouraged.
In all honesty, my dreams felt so far away that I stopped working for them. I felt stuck. I didn’t feel stuck because my life is terrible; I have a beautiful and amazing wife, a wonderful son, and I work for a thriving church. But when I think of big historical events like Jackie Robinson paving the way for other African-American athletes, I too long to be a part of something like that, something bigger.
The problem is that I can’t see the bigger picture.
God created us for something more, something big. But somehow we get lost in the mundane. We allow the monotony of our job, and endless to-do lists to siphon our God-given purpose.
Jesus tells us that we will do greater works than He did (John 14:12), but when do those works start?
This wasn’t Jewish hyperbole because when we read the books of Acts, Romans and beyond it becomes clear that the disciples actually took hold of the promise to heal people, perform miracles, and reconcile people to God, just as Jesus did when He was with them. The disciples were living out a great story that Jesus invited them into.
They put all of their eggs in the Jesus basket. When everyone else was holding back to see if Jesus was really the Messiah, they gave 100%. Even when it went in the face of everything they had learned, they said ‘You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”(See Mark 10:25-28, and John 6:21-68).
I get stuck at this part. I tell myself that I am completely following Jesus, but there is always a part of me that I hold back because of the risk it takes to trust God. Not only that but sometimes I read the Word of God and think, this is a hard saying, who can listen to it? (John 6:60). I think I gloss over the hard stuff and pay closer attention to the ‘easy stuff.’
In my mind I say as the disciples said, You have the words of eternal life… And [I] have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God, but in my heart I say, ‘It’s too risky and too hard to do everything He says, so I’ll just live a comfortable and unchallenging life that’s only partially dedicated to laying down my life for You.’
But no good story has ever had a main character that was comfortable the whole time.
Jesus wasn’t comfortable. He took our sins upon Himself and died a horrific death. But He was also raised from the dead. Upon His resurrection, the invitation to join His story was released to everyone in the world.
Jesus has a grand story planned for every single person who puts 100% of their hope in Him. It’s time we stopped being comfortable with the mundane and started to embrace Him as He is, the Savior of the world.
It will not be comfortable, and it may not always be safe, but living a good story never is.
I’m challenging myself to start living a better story. The story that God planned for me. A story worthy of conflict. A story that will allow me to speak God’s grace, love, and peace into a mundane world.
I hope you will accept the challenge with me.
What eggs are you struggling to put in the Jesus basket? Let’s embark on this journey together.