I think back to the days of the pioneers as they moved to win the west. There must have been so much that was exciting and unknown. What an adventure! I also read and watch the visual re-enactments of the hardship and peril that accompanied such adventure. Following your family and/or friends west could mean gold… literally. Or, there was the chance, that it could also mean death. These extremes were part of every pioneer’s reality.
This is also a fair estimation of the Jesus way… potential for treasure untold along with the stark possibility of danger. I love this exchange in the Chronicles of Narnia when one of the children asks if Aslan (the God character) is safe…
“Ooh!” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he — quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
For me, this sums up – at least some of – why I follow Jesus. Life with Jesus doesn’t exempt me from the bumps of life. Fact is, sometimes I am exposed to negative things because I follow Him. Sometimes stuff just happens.
On Monday I lost my second job… the job that was supposed to help us dig out of some of the personal financial debt we have incurred as we are helping to start Process Church here in Duluth, GA. This job showed such promise. We were making good money. I was starting to build a team around me who were similarly strapped financially. I was happy to be helping them find good employment. But, for whatever the reasons, that job doesn’t exist anymore.
How does this affect Process Church? Though that answer ultimately remains to be seen, I think already we have seen what this community of friends is all about. I have never felt such an outpouring of love and encouragement and strength. So I think this will only heighten the reality that Process Church (though inextricably tied to me & my family) is not just about us. We are group of people who are beginning to understand that the way of Jesus means caring for one another. What a privilege it is for me to serve these friends!
So did God end my job? I don’t think it necessarily works that way (it may). Did God know about it? Absolutely, He did. No matter where we land, in the midst of it all, I am following One who is good and has my good in mind at all times. Even when I’m scared. Even when I can’t see the beginning from the end. It’s why I follow Jesus. Not because the way is without peril, but because the Lead Wagoner is good.