Here’s my struggle with following Jesus… It’s so damn inconvenient sometimes. Missional living goes against so many of my natural inclinations.

In our consumer-driven culture, where Google chooses which ads I look at and Starbucks allows me to pre-order my coffee before I can even say hello to a barista, being a disciple of Christ doesn’t fit nicely into the rhythms of my life.

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My navigation app, Waze, literally knows what I’m craving and tells me of restaurants I’ll be passing by on the way to my destination. I can summon a common stranger to pick me up and bring me home through this magical thing called Uber. Life’s getting more convenient and I’m loving it.

So I can’t help but notice this growing contrast between our culture and the call to be a disciple.

For many of us churches, the response to this stark contrast is an attempt to keep up with our culture’s advances. We find ways to make it convenient to follow Jesus. We make it a pit-stop, a drive-thru on our way to a destination. We erect billboards that indicate that you can “follow Jesus” at the next exit. We’ve broken down discipleship into these nice bite-size pieces, easy enough to swallow. We’ve condensed it into an accessory that can match our colour and style, we’ve made it convenient enough to be added onto our busy schedules. 

I love biking to work. You know why I love biking to work? It fulfills my need for efficiency. Think about it, I save on transit fare, get my exercise, reduced my carbon footprint and get to work all in one motion. Honestly, it just makes me feel like I beat every other commuter at life.

And what I do with my commute, is exactly what I try to do with the call to be a disciple. I want to somehow include it and cram it within my route to my destination.  I want “following Jesus” to be on the way to where I want to go. I don’t want to detour my commute to have a Christ-focused lifestyle. I want Him and his mission to line up to the rhythms of my life.

But that’s the very thing that contradicts the notion of FOLLOWING JESUS.

Instead of warping Jesus into the rhythms of my own life, I should seek a rhythm that resembles what it looks like to follow Jesus and warp my desires into THAT way of life. I should carve my schedules, my goals, my hobbies, my family life, into HIS mission.

Because following Jesus has nothing to do with our self-made destinations. Our five year plans, our promotion aspirations, or titles, are not the destination. Our destination is to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Teaching them to obey all that he has commanded us.

And it’s tough to make THAT kind of destination, a “Great Commission” kind of destination, a mere pit-stop to where we want to go.

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4 thoughts on “The Inconvenience of Following Jesus

  1. Great write up Jesse. I loved the approach!

    Hope all is well with you and the family

    Sharing Jesus with Ontario’s Children,

    Ivhan Rusli Ivhan Rusli Child Evangelism Fellowship of Ontario Provincial Director Office: 1-877-788-8233 Cell: 647-297-2427

    http://www.cefontario.org

    “This message is intended only for the use of the person or organization to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by email and delete the original message immediately. The sender, its subsidiaries and affiliates do not accept liability for any errors, omissions, corruption, or virus in the contents of this message or any attachments that arise as a result of e-mail or fax transmission. Thank you.”

    From: sudirgo Reply-To: sudirgo Date: Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 2:21 PM To: Admin Subject: [New post] The Inconvenience of Following Jesus

    WordPress.com Jesse Sudirgo posted: “Here’s my struggle with following Jesus… It’s so damn inconvenient sometimes. Missional living goes against so many of my natural inclinations. In our consumer-driven culture, where Google chooses which ads I look at and Starbucks allows me to pre-orde”

  2. Your message didn’t hit me on the first read back in September…wasn’t in the headspace to absorb it’s significance at the time I guess. Too busy on my own commute to notice how profound your insights are in this particular post. Do we really treat Jesus like an accessory? Maybe we do. Is Jesus like a GPS app to us, designed to lead us into our preferred but not necessarily ordained destinies? Maybe sometimes He is….or at least maybe that is how we treat Him while we remain the focus of our own lives. Good thing that when we deviate from the road or highway that He wants us on that He sends forth His word to call us back to listening and following Him instead of Him following us and hedging us in 24-7. When we are prone to taking a pathway that is ultra convenient for us as opposed to the “straight and narrow” path He recommends, don’t we often hear “a voice behind [us] saying, ‘this is the pathway, walk ye in it'”. At this point we can stop straining at the bit in an attempt to flee this prospect and by His grace alone trust Him to “lead [us] into paths of righteousness for His name’s sake”, though it may be quite inconvenient!

    An image that I find inspiring when I consider my wanderings in context of His checks and balances is one that came out of this experience many years ago: While sitting on a large granite outcropping of the Canadian Shield in Muskoka, I observed a small spider traversing the rock face. Oddly enough he was anchored by a white silken thread to something I could not see within a crevice in the rock. First he covered the left side of the rock, then changed direction, came back to his starting point and then covered the right side. He went south and he went north, all over this rockface. In all his travels, he remained firmly attached by his silken thread to an invisible anchor deep within the crevice. I thought of how much I am like that spider. I go off in various directions, exploring my environment, satisfying my curiosity about all the opportunities that surround me. But no matter how far I roam or how “off course” my wandering takes me, I too am anchored to the ROCK, the God of my salvation who will never leave me, who will redirect my path, in keeping with His will. I may deceive myself for a time into believing that I am a free agent in my little universe but the reality is that my spiritual umbilical cord keeps me firmly attached to Christ and His will for me regardless of my wanderings. And that is very convenient because apart from Him this arachnid could easily self-destruct.

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