May These Words be Salty Pt. 2

What you are about to read is the second of three blogs that will span September 2 through September 5, as a massive update on what God has been doing in my life through you, my incredible support and readership. I hope, as it states in the About section of this blog site, that you are encouraged, strengthened (maybe even convicted) by the Spirit’s presence; that the Holy Spirit would speak through my life, and thus through this blog. Thank you, so much, for hanging through this tumultuous and inconsistent past few weeks that I call my life. Lastly, I am humbled that you would even give this page a gander… so it is much appreciated (and most excellent)! In the words of Paul in Colossians 2:6, may these words be salty. 

On August 19th, James and I, in my burdened honda set our sights on the West Coast. We stopped in Nashville, TN to visit my amazing godmother, or as we call her, Aunt Kay (if you’re reading this, I love you! Thank you so much for the free meal and place to stay).

 The next night we camped in Perry State Park and enjoyed a delicious, fire-cooked “hobo meal” which consisted of fresh: potatoes, garlic, spicy sausage, squash, onion, bell pepper, and seasoning salt all rolled together in aluminum foil and placed on some hot coals. Makes me hungry just thinking about it.

After feeding ourselves well, we headed to Denver to meet my awesome roomate Layne and his incredibly hospitable cousin Nikala.  The sheer beauty of the drive through the mountains had us wishing we could stay there longer. It got me wishing I could stay til winter to ski.

Then, for our longest drive, we camped at the grand canyon for a night and then explored it all the next day, the following are a bunch of pictures from our adventure at the canyon:

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28 ESV)

I am unsure as to whether jumping ledge to ledge, exploring the rim, and throwing rocks into a massive canyon can be considered worship, but I can tell you, I was struck with reverence and awe at our Father’s creation while at Grand Canyon National Park. You can look at picture after picture of the Canyon and never experience the breathtaking beauty of it because it is only something you can understand once you see it for yourself in person. In John 3:3, while addressing a man named Nicodemus, Jesus states: “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” In the same way we can read our bibles and commentaries, we can watch Rob Bell and Francis Chan videos, we can even go to church every sunday, but until we are born again.. until we understand the heavy grace and mercy of God crashing down on our lives daily… until we know that we are saved, that we can claim salvation through Christ by faith, and faith alone… then we will never see the Kingdom of God. The pictures just don’t do it justice.

 

One of my favorite moments of our most excellent road trip was when we stopped at a random spot along Route 191 called the Wilson Arch. It wasn’t planned or a part of the itinerary, just looked like an awesome place to explore. So we hopped out of the car and climbed, slipped and walked all over this place.

While there we did what any explorer would do… we stacked a bunch of rocks.

  This is our amateur cairn, or epic peace statue. 

James has been my small group guy since I started volunteering at Mandarin Presbyterian in the 10th grade. Seven years later, here we are, road tripping together and as I look back, the unplanned road stops, the daily 8+ hours worth of driving, the rock stack, the climb down into the canyon, the way we would drop rocks off of cliffs just to hear the gunshot boom as it cratered the canyon floor is what makes me value James as an incredible friend. But it also scares the crap out of me, because in Hebrews 13 it says:

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (v. 7)

and

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (v. 17)

I have been humbly, and many times awkwardly, leading James and my small group for seven years. That’s longer than the ministry of Christ while he walked the earth in flesh and is a grain of sand compared to his ocean of awesomeness. I hope there are some parts of my life, pieces of me that my small group would want to imitate, but the one fact I know is that there are many other parts that I never want them to see, much less engage in and imitate. If I am to be watchman of their souls, or of your soul, if you call me a leader, then that is a massive amount of responsibility.

Frankly, I’m scared of screwing that up, or really, screwing it up anymore. If you call yourself a leader as I do and you’re reading this, I hope you are too.

So I then cling to the words of Paul:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV)

Recognizing the need for self-discipline Paul wrote these words. In a beautiful metaphor, he showed those of us who preach and teach what we have to do: we have to practice self-discipline and self-control. The only way I’m going to make this whole “soul-watching” thing work, is if I first trust solely in Christ and salvation found through him, and second, constantly move away from what is unbiblical and move towards what is. But then, I love what Tim Chaddick, pastor at Reality:LA said in his sermon last week: “If you’re a follower of Christ, you are called to ministry.” See, Christ didn’t call Peter to be a christian fisherman, but to be a fisher of men. Any occupation that we hold and really anything that we do, including a road trip, should be saturated by the word of God and follow the example of Christ. So maybe what Paul was saying wasn’t just for those who call themselves preachers and teachers, but for anyone who follows Christ. Are you still in the race? Are you still qualified for the prize?

God’s given us an unshakeable Kingdom; a church that not even the gates of Hell can overcome. Let’s keep a good watch over it.

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One thought on “May These Words be Salty Pt. 2

  1. Pingback: May These Words be Salty Pt. 3 | fides quarens intellectum

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