Thursday, February 14, 2008

Where are you walking?--Wesley Foundation E-Letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Hey folks!


Happy Valentine’s Day!  Everyone needs a Valentine.  If you didn’t get one today, come by tonight!  We’ll be sure you have plenty before you walk out the door!  You need to know that you are loveable, and someone cares about what happens to you.  We care, so come by and let us show you.  Free food at 6:30pm, Valentine’s after that!


Oh and today we are taking orders for the Angel Food Ministry.  $70 worth of groceries for just $30!  Come by tonight and place your order!


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


I was just facebooking a friend of mine, continuing a theological conversation on the meaning of life.  Do you ever hear yourself say something, and after you’ve heard it, think, “Wow!  Where did that come from?  It was profound!!!”  I think I just had one of those moments.  One of those times when I’m pretty sure it was God talking because I’m not smart enough to come up with something like that.  So here’s what I said:  “My worst day walking with Him is 100 times better than my best day walking away from Him.”  Gosh!  It staggers me by how true it is.


Lent is one of those seasons in the Christian year where we take time to observe our walk.  Kind of like on the movie “Miss Congeniality” where the pageant coach critiques Sandra Bullock’s regular “bull in a china shop” walk and then teaches her how to walk with style and grace.  In the same way Lent is a time to see how one’s faith-walk lives up to what Christ calls it to be.  Jesus says so many times in scripture, “Take up your cross and follow me.”  But how often do we actually do that?  We live in a culture, especially on a college campus, whose motto is “if it feels good, do it.”  And so we spend our days trying to live into the pleasure of the moment and completely avoid what is uncomfortable, or painful, or effortful, anything less than pleasurable. 


It always baffles me when I hear people say that Christianity is simply a crutch to help weak people, that it is the opiate of the masses.  Nothing has demanded more of me than my relationship with Jesus Christ.  And just when I begin to get comfortable, He is always asking me to go deeper, stretch further, and believe bigger than I ever thought was possible.  He even asks me to forgive what seems to be unforgivable.  It takes every ounce of courage I have to follow Him.  Because the road is NEVER easy.  Essentially Jesus asks His followers to die to themselves every day.  To totally defy the wisdom of the world and actually delay gratification, stretch beyond one’s comfort zone, think of someone besides oneself, care about people one has never met, give away one’s resources to those who lack them, pray for one’s enemies, to do the right thing in every situation without any guarantees that it will even end well, to be self-less in a world that glorifies selfishness.


At this point you may be asking, “how in the world can she say that walking with Jesus is so much better than walking away from Him?”  Especially if what I have said about what Jesus demands is true.  I guess it’s because of what is on the other side of that cross that He asks me to pick up.  Tony Compollo speaks of a sermon he heard an African American preacher give where all the preacher said was, “It’s Friday now but Sunday’s comin’!”  I have walked long enough with Jesus now to see with my own eyes that Sunday always follows Friday.  The promise for every cross is that there is resurrection on the other side, new and eternal life that cannot be defeated, demolished, or stolen.  The promise of the eternal and abundant life He gives is never empty.  The self-denial he calls us to initially always births a greater blessing than anything we can desire.  And it is always so much better than the emptiness we end up with when we do it the world’s way.  The only thing the world can offer is empty promises.  It can offer stuff, but all stuff is transient.  And stuff cannot bring joy, peace, or wholeness.  Only God can do that.


So maybe it is time in this season of Lent to do a little soul searching and faith-walk observing.  Maybe the best thing to give up for Lent isn’t necessarily a soda as much as an addiction to immediate gratification.  Maybe even an addiction to the noise that distracts us from the invitation of eternal life.  Maybe Lent is really about turning around and simply taking steps toward the Lord of Life instead of constantly walking away because it feels good for the moment.  Maybe Lent is more about hope than we think.  Because the path ultimately leads to life that is real life.






Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry



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