“We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!”
Remember this from the Hobbit? Gandolf invites Bilbo on an exciting adventure, and the little Hobbit’s response is pretty clear – nasty, uncomfortable, disturbing things. To be honest, based on what then happens in the story, as he goes to fight a massive gold-loving dragon with a group of dirty dwarves, he’s probably right.
But forget Bilbo, dwarves and dragons. What about us? And what about the everyday adventures God calls us to? Deep down do we think they are disturbing and uncomfortable?
Let’s be honest. At times, God will call us to be uncomfortable. He won’t ask all of us to work overseas on an adventure in some far off country, giving up all we know to serve a remote community. But he does call all of us to go beyond ourselves, to show love, compassion, care and hope. And it’s these everyday adventures that can be disturbing and uncomfortable.
Imagine the situation. We’re late back from work or college, have a packed evening, and need to grab a quick bite to eat before we head out again. As we rush down the street we pass a young mum trying to manage two kids and carry a bunch of shopping down the road. Do we stop and help? Probably not. It would be awkward, it might seem like we think she can’t cope – she could be offended – and that would be bad. Plus we’d be late for dinner.
No adventures for me thank you very much.
But what if that thought in my head to help was God’s call? What if the dozens of other simple things that come into my head each day, from an offer of prayer to a simple act of service, were ways God is trying to call me out of myself to show His love and hope to people?
I’d say they probably are. And that means in ignoring them, I’m missing out on some everyday adventures God is pushing my way.
“You need to understand, I never wanted to start a ministry… God revealed a need I could meet and I did what I could”.
The early disciples didn’t sign up for an adventure. In fact they probably had very little idea what the next few hours and days of their lives would entail when they chose to respond to Jesus’ call to ‘follow me’.
But that’s the point. If in that moment, each one knew that their choice to follow Jesus would bring pain, insult, imprisonment and ultimately martyrdom, I doubt many would have followed. But, they saw something in Jesus that so profoundly changed their views and perspectives that they took the first simple step.
Check out this quote from Brother Andrew, the founder of Open Doors:
“You need to understand, I never wanted to start a ministry. I simply went on one trip to Poland in 1955. Shortly after that I had the opportunity to go to Czechoslovakia. I found the church in both countries, discovered their need, and started bringing Bibles. There was no plan, no vision, certainly no thought about leading a worldwide organisation. God revealed a need I could meet and I did what I could”.
The same is true for Pastor Boutros in Syria. As the war unfolded his church started serving families that were displaced by the fighting. Initially it was just a handful, then more arrived, then more. Now they regularly help 3500 families a month. Taking that one first step can lead us into an incredible adventure with God.
What if we did respond to just some of the little promptings God pushes our way throughout the day? What would happen? I’m sure we’d embarrass ourselves a fair few times. I’m sure we’d fail a bit and I’m sure people would think we were a bit weird. But I’m also sure that occasionally God would act, that people would start to see something of His love and care for them. And I’m also sure we’d be amazed by the adventure He would lead us on.
So, don’t worry about being late for dinner. What is it that God is saying to you? What can you do that will show others His love and care, and push you out of your comfort zones? What adventure is he calling you on today?
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.