Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Golf, Abraham and the Gerasenes

Interesting combination don't you think! Let's start with Jose Marie Olazabal's quote from William Wallace: "All men die, but not all men live." If you look it up you will find variations, but the sentiment remains the same.

I've been pondering this the last day or so as I think about what it means the live for the kingdom. How do we live? Not just exist, not just hang around waiting for the end to come or for God to intervene, but how we do live, make choices that reflect the kingdom and give opportunities for the kingdom to flourish? Where is the balance between following God's lead and getting ahead of ourselves?

Then there's Abraham. A man whom God called to go on a journey to a land promised but as yet unseen and unidentified except in the vaguest of ways. A sort of, "You'll recognise it when you see it" description. Our life is a bit like that at the moment. Everything is rather vague but I get the feeling that while I can't easily describe where we are going and what will be the end result, I think I'll recognise it when we arrive. At least I hope I will!

Then there are those Gerasenes. Why are they so afraid? Jesus has just an extraordinary thing for one of their own people. someone they knew well, who's problems were manifestly public and is now no longer a threat or problem to them. And they are afraid of the man who has set him free.

Golf, Abraham and the Gerasenes. Life, journey and fear.

Moses once said the the gathered community of Israel, "Today I set before you life and death. Choose life that you might live." Maybe we could paraphrase that and say, "Choose life and live it." In other words don't just choose life as a better alternative to death, but choose it and embrace it and live it as fully as you can. Not in out 21st century self-indulgent way, but in a way that serves the mission and purposes of God. Abandon small selfish goals and grasp hold of big hairy kingdom goals instead.

Scary thought isn't it? Exciting maybe, but when the rubber hits the road and you have to reshape your life around new priorities and new risks, then it gets scary. But if we let fear set the agenda we will ask Jesus to leave us alone because we can't handle who he is and what he can do.

Courage, someone once said, is not the absence of fear, it's pressing ahead despite your fear.

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