Just another traveler on life’s highway hanging out in the slow lane. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. Beyond the horizon is rest calling my name. Green pastures, still waters, my cup overflows.
I use the multi-colored message shown above to convey the basic truth that none of us are excluded from the love of God, from the table which Jesus has set to feed the entirety of mankind with his bread and his wine, his body and blood. Do not allow anyone to tell you that your race, your creed, your sex, your orientation, or your past disqualifies you from sitting with Jesus. No earthly being has the authority to deny you a seat. Jesus’ invitation is eternal, unconditional, and it specifically has your name on it.
In the world of evangelists, Billy Graham’s legacy continues to command the respect and admiration of a great many people, believers and non-believers. He shared on his blog site in 2012 THE THREE INVITATIONS OF CHRIST
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Mark 1:17
Jesus said, “Abide in me and I in you.” John 15:4
These invitations are an ongoing process. I have no qualms accepting that I don’t have all the pieces to the God puzzle. Sometimes I don’t even know what the questions should be. GOD IS A MYSTERY. And I believe that is a good thing for a doubter and skeptic like me. Keep me guessing so that I continue searching. Just when I believe I’ve reached that “Aha” moment or a fascinating revelation, another doubt and question arises.
But, the process doesn’t change, does it? Run to Him when life gets heavy and overwhelming, learn of his ways and take his yoke upon me. Determine what my ego wants versus what Jesus says in his words and teachings. It all comes down to surrender. Do I want to continue in my burdensome ways or will I turn it over to the Master, the problem-solver?
Learn and then share with others what has been discovered. Those of us in addiction recovery programs know the necessity of service to others. We share our war stories and then extend our experience, strength and hope. Alcoholics and addicts are invited just as they are to the tables of the meeting rooms. The beauty and success of AA, CR, and other recovery programs depends on the fellowship putting others before personal interests. Those questioning, new arrivals are invited to share our repurposed lives, to sit at the table of miracles. We become fishers of men.
Finally, Jesus invites us to abide with the God of our understanding in a peace that surpasses anything which the world has to offer. To me this means building and cherishing the most intimate relationship which I could ever know. When I am willing to surrender, when I am willing to pull my head out of self-serving ways, when I am willing to be still and know, then we can be as one walking this path through the joys and travails of an earthly life. God dwells in me and I in Him. That is the solidarity of “I am You, You are me, and we are One.”
Believe me, it is not always where my head and heart dwell. This challenge which is called the human condition tries to detour me, lie to me, and steal me away. But, running to my Lord is no longer the option of last resort. I have learned to go there as quickly as possible.
He said, “Come unto me and learn of me, my yoke is easy and I will give you rest.”
He has invited you, too. What’s holding you back?