“Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” Matthew 16:24-26.
I will never forget the day a gentleman wandered in my office well after services ended. I was preparing for an evening Bible Study and working on my papers for school when this gentleman came to my door and said, “I’m looking to attend a worship service.” It was well past 1:00 and the services were complete for the day. I gave him some information about our services and invited him to come next Sunday. With that he continued to walk into my office and sit down in a chair on the other side of my desk. He continued to share his story with me as if he knew me all his life. For over an hour this gentleman poured out his story to me, a complete stranger. A stranger that was willing to listen. I put my agenda and my plans for that moment on hold and was available to simply listen and invited him to share his heart.
I could hear pain in his voice, the subtle undercurrent of loneliness, the deep need to be heard, the ache to be invited into a house of worship and the body of Christ. So I listened, I listened to more than the story, I read his face and sensed his spirit. At the end of the conversation he said, “You are like a girl skipping down the road”. Learning that he was from Alabama, my first thought was that was a saying from the great state of Alabama. But it gave me a visual that I wanted to savor and know more about it. So I asked, “What do you mean by that?” His reply:
“A girl skipping down the road enjoys life.
A girl skipping down the road takes the time to see the beauty in everything.
A girl skipping down the road brings others with her because they want to see life like she sees it.
A girl skipping down the road is the girl you want to follow.”
We are all invited to skip down the road of life. But it will cost us. It will cost us our time, it will cost us our kingdoms, it will cost us our vices, it will cost us to give selflessly, it will cost us to unpack the burdens and baggage that we so desperately want to hold on to. The burdens of past hurt and suffering. The burdens of broken relationships and extreme loss. The burden of shattered dreams and failed expectations. We will have to walk through the pain of unpacking our baggage in order to skip. Our baggage is too heavy to take with us on the road. Jesus tells us :“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30.
Jesus first invited the disciples to follow and after investing and revealing the wisdom of the kingdom of God he said, Go. Our lives are a blink in time and we can choose to haul our heavy burdens and baggage along the road of life or we can walk through the pain and allow Jesus to heal our brokenness and restore our soul.
You have been invited to live the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. Unpack the bags, kick off the shackles that have you bound, and give your burdens to the one that can renew your spirit.
You were meant to be a girl skipping down the road. Take the invite to freedom that is available by the mercy and grace of Christ . When you do, your spirit in Christ, will be a walking witness that will invite others to skip down the road with you!
Blessings and Love,