I have never enjoyed running, although I have done it in some form for most of my life. It is sort of required to play the sports that I love. But I have never really understood running for the sake of running. My thought is, “Why go through the trouble if there is no greater reward waiting at the end?”
A year and a half ago, I led Journey Christian Community in Waco, TX through a teaching series entitled, “Yahweh’s Story.” It is an amazing story full of unbelievable love and indescribable heartache. It is the story that we all find ourselves in — but it is not our story. It’s the Father’s!
Since the very beginning of this story, our Father has been after us. He has been pursuing us with reckless abandon. And we run. We follow the pattern of so many who have come before us and we run. We run because we are afraid. We run because we are ashamed. We run because we believe that something out there will ease our hearts.
If only we would slow down long enough to take a look at the one chasing after us. We would see the face of a Father whose heart is breaking. We would hear the tenderness of his voice, pleading, “It’s OK! Come, let me hold you. You are my precious one.” You see, the Father is not in pursuit to accuse and destroy. In fact, quite the opposite! He pursues because he loves you radically and he will continue in his chase until the last chapter of his story is written.
I, like most of us, am a runner. But I have been caught by the Father and have been overcome by his love for me. I still run but most days it is toward him.
This blog and the following posts are dedicated to discovering the Father’s pursuit of our hearts and the incredible life given to us as we live recklessly in his love.
You know the feeling. We’ve all experienced it countless times. You’re in a conversation with someone and it has begun to elevate. Emotions are now invested and you can feel the tension rising. Your heart begins to pound. Your face turns a little flush. Your voice raises and maybe even cracks a bit. And you’re there, right in the middle of a personal conflict.
Question: What do you do? How do you proceed?
Does it depend on who the person is? Whether it is a friend or a family member or just some guy you bumped into at the store?
Does it depend on the issue? If it’s something personal or religious or political?
Or does it depend on how convinced you are about your argument? What if this particular conflict hits really close to home? What if it directly touches your life? And what if you KNOW that you’re right? What then? Does this change the game for you? Are you all in, no questions asked? Do you attack until you have conquered?
As Jesus followers, these interactions really matter. It is these moments that will come to define us – possibly more than anything else. It is from these conflicts that we will be remembered. These are the conversations that will be retold about us. This is how our Jesus will be judged by the world.
You see, it is possible to be 100% right and yet 100% wrong at the same time. If we are right with the truth that we carry but we speak it with anger and rage and even hate, we could not be more wrong. We have lost our way as badly as if we had no truth to share.
Ours is a message of love. It is what we are to be known by. It is what we have been rescued by and it is what we have to offer.
What if we spent every moment of every day trying to discover how we could best love the person in front of us? What if we were more concerned with that than winning an argument or defending our rights or making a point?
What if love was our point? What if the person was more important to us than the issue? How would they leave their experience with you? What would they think about you? About Jesus?
When you’re after love, you can always say, “You know I’m right!”