When Jesus says come and follow me, He is asking us to come and share the same road. (We are going to spend a whole day looking at this call of Christ coming up at our next Collide event if you want to check it out!) When Christ asks us to share the same road as Him, we can find ourselves saying ‘yes’ with great intention, but if we look at the path we actually find our very shoes trodding upon, our actual answer is ‘no’. It is like my kid who says ‘yes’ to go clean her room, yet I can hear her upstairs and she is not in her room, but instead doing cartwheels like she is on crack in the hallway. She is just outside where she said she would be, avoiding what she said ‘yes’ to.
Following Christ is not just saying ‘yes’ to Him, but actually going where He goes and finding yourself in places He does. This is fascinating if you think about it. Because where does Christ go? As I plant myself in the life of Christ and study who He is, I keep finding Him with people I don’t want to be with. He keeps colliding with broken people, annoying people, hurting and desperate people. Not just in word, but in deed.
The road Christ walked always finds Him with people in shoes you and I would not want to walk in. Jesus collides with slutty women caught in the very act of adultery. He hangs out with drunkards and slimy, self advantageous tax collectors. He collides with people whose body parts are shriveled and they look scary. He touches people no one else would touch and yet we are afraid to eat a sandwich these days without having first put on antibacterial soap. Jesus goes out of His way to make friends with people that other people despise. He not only shares their road, He ends up, ultimately, wearing their shoes.
How can we say we follow Him, if we aren’t willing to collide with broken, messy, annoying, scary people? How can we call ourselves followers if we don’t walk the same roads He walks? How can we say we share the same road, yet the road He travels is the one we avoid? I am no different than my daughter saying, I will go and indeed do, and yet I distract myself with a hundred cartwheels instead. I say I want to follow Him, but do I really want to go where He goes? This question demands my answer. And my answer keeps finding me like Peter, lacing up and following Jesus with great intensity and then like Peter, peeking out behind a rooster’s pen not even having enough guts to own up to my love for this crazy Jesus in the presence of a child.
What will He do with me? Will He keep calling me? Will He keep beckoning me to come?
He will. That is Jesus. He will even go out of His way to meet me on my path in my brokenness, in my puny problems, in my waywardness. He will collide with me. He will wear my shoes. He will whisper come. He will extend His hand and invite me to share His road and the love He has for all of us. And maybe one day, I will find myself lacing up, not for cartwheels, but for people. That is my prayer.