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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Disciple's Focus

A Disciple’s Focus

As I type, I am listening to David Benoit’s version of “Linus and Lucy,” one of my favorite instrumental pieces.  Benoit’s version is very busy.  I think I’ll go on You Tube to hear the old version …

Wait a minute.

As I write, I have 10 documents open on my computer and three Bibles open on my desk.  I have to review some notes from my recent sermon and I need to go over the final details for the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services.  And then I need to …

Wait a minute.

I am supposed to be centering my thought, reflecting on the call of Jesus in my life, focusing on what it is to be his follower.  I am to be about the process of setting my inner self toward Easter and the movements (Last Supper, Crucifixion) that lead up to it.    I have serious thinking to do and yet, so many other competitors vie for my attention.

It reminds of the past two days.  My family visited Washington DC.  We went to Museum of Natural History, the White House visitor’s center, the MLK, Korean War, and Lincoln Memorials, and both Air and Space Museums (on the national mall and at Dulles Airport).  There were so many people, kids there on spring break.  The crowds were loud, cacophonous.  The exhibits overwhelmed one’s senses.  I can still feel the dizziness of it all.  Maybe I need to go through the pictures and …

Wait a minute. 

What thoughts left the minds of Mary, Peter, and the beloved disciple (see John’s gospel) adrift?  These three each came with their own distractions when they visited the tomb on that Sunday.  One lingered, one hesitated, and one left as abruptly as he came.  Even the absence of the body, even encounters with the Risen Christ were not enough to make everything clear.  But meeting Jesus was enough to get their attention.

And it is enough to grab mine.  In the word, in the people of the church, and in the Holy Spirit, I meet Jesus.  It is always on his terms.  Sometimes, I successfully eliminate distractions, and he is strangely silent. Sometimes, I am more distracted than I am even now, and still he breaks through, grabs my mind, and forces me to focus on Him.  Most of the time … well, I cannot really say what happens most of the time.  It is unique each time. 

I am his.  I may be a lousy disciple, but I am Jesus’ disciple.  This Sunday, knowing the resurrection happened, I will approach the tomb much differently than those three disciples did.  They were neck-deep in grief.  I come with indescribable joy and gratitude.  But also distracted. 

Still, I step from all the noise of “Linus and Lucy” and memories and stacks on my desk, and the unending noise of my computer.  I step from it into worship, toward Him.  I step toward God, and with unending love He receives me and the worship I offer.  He makes me new, which includes a renewal of my focus.  And I follow Him as I know Him in Christ.  Distractions will come again, and again He will call me back. 

I don’t worry about being a lousy disciple.  I know some days I get it right and love rightly, as Jesus loves.  I know there are moments in which I am a very good disciple.  And there are many when I am not.  But my discipleship is not a measure of my talents as a Christ-follower.  This is about His love and grace, and it is about his faithfulness.  His promise to be with me and to give eternal life is one I can trust. 

So, I’ll try to be a good disciple.  I’ll do my best.  But even when I get distracted, He’ll call me back and I will come back.  I will gratefully receive his grace because my disciple life is a life about the goodness of Jesus.  He is the one who determines how things go, Thank God.  

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