Monday, August 16, 2010

Arizona Adventures: What we learned from exercise DVDS

Theologians are everywhere. Sometimes the most profound statements about God and faith are found not in books, but in a life lived and experienced together. These insights just seem to happen. Suddenly, during our regular and ordinary lives, the extraordinary occurs. God reminds us that He is with us.

It was like that in Arizona. God reminded us that He was there, working and ministering to us through His Spirit. We were in awe. There was so much healing that took place that week in the mountains. We confessed sin, admitted that we had fallen short, and replied unanimously, “Me too; I’ve been there, and I’m struggling with you.” We were reminded that this journey of faith is not a yellow brick road that leads to a life of prosperity and ease. Sometimes the road is marked with suffering, confusion and loss. Sometimes we forget that the gift of following Jesus Christ is not Cadillac’s, cash, and no colds; rather, the gift of following Jesus is Jesus. And he is worth the struggle.

One of our students made a profound statement while at camp. He remembered it from the P90X exercise DVDS that are so popular. He said, “I have not failed; I have not given up. Instead, I am currently struggling with this…” I thought that was incredible and I think we can all agree…me too! We are struggling but we have not given up. We are in need of grace and acceptance. Our sights are set upwards and no matter what happens we are not quitters, losers, or lost causes. Instead, we are those who believe and are saved. (Hebrews 10:39).

I smiled that evening as I looked upon a group of high school students who were genuinely living life together—no pretenses, no facades, and plenty of humility. We realized that we are struggling together, along with our King. And we will continue this fight because Jesus is worth it. We will pursue grace. Our Savior is not looking for us to attain awards, fame and accolades in this life. No, it is quite the opposite in fact. He is looking for scars and battle wounds as we struggle upwards, continually pursuing the Light.

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