How many times have I read through the four Gospels? Dozens. If I slow down and meditate on what I am reading, I am astounded at how a common passage, read many times, speaks to me in a whole new way. Such is the case with Mark 6.
In the beginning of this chapter, Jesus ushers his disciples into a new role. He calls them to be apostles, and sends them out to battle demonic forces, to heal the sick, and to share the Good News. He tells them to take nothing with them except the clothes on their back and the sandals on their feet. Instead of worldly possessions to accompany them, he equips them with powers they know nothing about.
This group of ordinary men make the decision to listen and follow the instructions of their extraordinary Teacher. They do just as he says, taking no money, no food, no change of clothes. They have completely surrendered themselves to Jesus, willing to set aside all possessions and every source of comfort and security. Surely they must be uneasy. But they put those fears and what-ifs to rest, and in turn, they open the door for experiences beyond their wildest dreams. Their faith adventure is approaching an all-time high.
I have to ask myself ~ what is this teaching me? First, that I am called to not only follow Jesus, but to see the mission field he has for me. Am I willing to answer that call? Right now, my own neighborhood is my mission field. I don't have to go to Africa to see a hurting world that needs Jesus. I only have to look outside my window.
I can see from this passage that the more I surrender my own comfort and security, the less likely it's going to be about "me" and what "I" can do. Instead, I will be opening up the door to be used in a way that moves into the realm of miraculous. I have a choice ~ cling to my world and my concept of security and step out in my own feeble strength and mediocre ability. Or...relinquish and be witness to him working through me to accomplish what only he has the power to do.
My husband and I have a dream. Time will tell if it is God's plan for us. We dream of renting out our home, purchasing a camper, and travelling the country for a year. We want to make it a year of stretching our wings and our faith, and look for opportunities to serve along the way. The idea of leaving behind our home and our worldly possessions sounds oddly freeing to both of us. Whether our dream comes to fruition or we remain where we are, I long to be at that point of surrender. I want the desire to reach out to my neighbor to exceed my need to cling to the things that make me feel safe, secure, and comfortable. Comfort and security or a faith adventure? I already know the answer.
"One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar."