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.
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.