September 6, 2012
We use the term glibly, I think.
We say, "Oh I am going to disciple that person. I'm going to meet with them once a week, and we're going to do a real indepth Bible Study for an hour. We're going to work our way through this great devotional workbook. It will be awesome!"
But was that the life of Jesus' disciples? Was that what it meant (still means) to follow a rabbi? Being with that teacher 24-7-365. And being with the other disciples 24-7-365 too. Going where he goes (everywhere). Doing what he does (everything). Learning what he teaches (all of it) and putting it into practice. 24-7-365.
I've been thinking I really want to be one of Jesus' disciples.
But. I'm already finding it's not as easy as it sounds. 10:55 am and already today I've been screwing up on things He teaches, the way He lives. Things and ways I was pretty sure I knew.
I'm realizing how very little I really do know.
It's one thing to be able to answer "trivia questions" (always been good at that)...
But quite another to apply His principles ... even His direct commands ... to even the simplest everyday life situations.
Okay, here's an example of something that I'm struggling with.
On one hand, I get offended, get my back up, when people suggest that I'm being "co-dependent" with the street people when I go out and feed them without question... that I'm supporting their bad habits and laziness... that I'm giving them a good excuse to keep living "that lifestyle" ... that I should be "preaching the gospel" everytime I hand out a sandwich or a cup of coffee....
On the other hand, I find myself being a hypocrite ... or something like that... I invite a family to my home for a meal, and some of the family don't come (for some reason... they don't explain... but I find myself surmising that they've chosen drinking instead - or they'd rather stay home and play video games - or some other "excuse" as I imagine it to be). I find myself feeling offended when the ones who do come want to take home food to the ones who clearly (in my befuddled opinion) don't value my friendship and hospitality enough to come to my home (especially when it happens repeatedly).
What to do?
What would Jesus do?
How far does "giving a glass of cold water in Your name" go, Lord? What about the whole "co-dependency" thing?
When Jesus fed the 5000+ ... and the 4000+ .... He fed all of them ... even though He undoubtedly knew that some were spies sent by the Pharisees and Scribes ... and that many others would desert Him the moment He made it clear He wasn't an earthly king out to rout the Romans.
It seems to me that the ones Jesus did "stand up to" (and offend), when He did, were the ones who were already convinced they were "the righteous."
(And after writing all that down, and thinking about it ... why do I have this "but... but... but..." ringing in my head? And why does my heart ache?)
I'm also disappointed that just because I want to "go deeper" it sure doesn't mean others want to join me. Last night several of us watched a short video together - about disciples - and right away after it was turned off, some little thing happened (can't even remember what, it was so inconsequential), and immediately people started on a train of "Ha! ha! That reminds me of when...." And on and on it went, rabbit trail chit-chat. And when I tried to bring the conversation back to discipleship, people mostly hemmed and hawed (only one or two made any kind of serious comment) and everybody seemed pretty relieved when I gave up and dropped it.
Again. What would You do, Jesus?
Am I just being self-centered? selfish? boring? irrelevant?
(We'd already had a good hour or two of food and friendly, miscellaneous conversation. And they'd seemed happy to watch the video, and at the end said it was "so good."
But when I asked how can we really be disciples, really live like that? and how can we disciple others if we're not really being disciples ourselves? ... well that seemed to be asking too much.
Am I asking too much?
Am I too serious?
Should I "enjoy the video" and leave it at that.
I imagine Jesus must have been disappointed (though not surprised...) when the crowds "ate and ran" ... happy to have their bellies filled ... but not their spirits?
Oh dear. Am I saying that about my friends?
(Ha! It is sure enough true about me, myself, a lot of the time)
(But I'm not to judge others, right?)
(And is pointing out, encouraging the Jesus way, in a positive, "let's do it!" kind of way, the same in the end as judging?)
(How tolerant and politically correct - or not - are disciples supposed to be?!?!?)
Father? Jesus? Holy Spirit?