I would love to start a conversation about what it looks like to follow Jesus in this day and time. Would you be willing to be transparent about your relationship with God and contribute to this conversation? Before I ask you to do that, let me first set the table by sharing part of my story.
I learned to play the guitar when my college roommate Stephen began showing me some chords on the guitar. He was my young life leader and also the guy who led me to Christ. I'll never forget the feeling that happened when I first made the sound of picking out a chord or two. I'm sure it didn't sound pretty but to me it felt like Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor. Now before you think I am sophisticated please know that I googled that and have no idea anything about classical music. Ok back to it. I vividly remember for the next year playing the guitar for hours on end. I played so much that the ends of my fingers were thick with callouses. I remember thinking..... If I could be paid to do this then my life would be fulfilled. I started a band and a couple of years later God gave me the desires of my heart. I signed a record deal and moved to Nashville. We won dove awards, sold a lot of records, traveled the world, and played about 200 shows a year for 5 straight years. Do you know what the last thing I wanted to do when I got home from touring was? That's right play my guitar. I didn't want to do anything musical. Somewhere along the way I forgot what it was like to simply love the beauty of creating music. I had become a professional musician.
I am now a professional Christian. I have been paid to follow Jesus for a long time. I did 4-6 services on Saturday and Sunday 52 weekends a year for years on end. My days were filled with every thing christianity. Christian music, christian books, christian people, heck I began to question if the car I drove got saved (insert courtesy laugh here). In 1994, on the side of a mountain, with tears rolling down my face, I committed my life to Jesus. I have never been the same. Something happened to me that night at Frontier Ranch in Colorado. My passion for Jesus was ignited and I promised the rest of my life to tell everyone and anyone about this amazing love. I couldn't get enough of scripture. I prayed all the time. I spent my first and last parts of my day crying out to God. But somewhere along my journey I made things more about pursuing the things of God than pursuing God alone. I realized that my first response in times of need was to google a Christian podcast or book rather than fall on my face and cry out to God. Why had my first response of pursuing Jesus alone changed? How could I have drifted so far? I am in a season of spiritual detox now. Today I am spending time with Jesus because I want to not because I have to get ready for the next sermon. It feels so refreshing. I am questioning my motives and desires on so many levels and it is extremely rewarding to answer honestly. Would I go to that church if I didn't work there? Would I still type this blog post if I knew you wouldn't like it on Facebook? Does God love me more because I am writing this? There's a lot to think about and I am learning so much from other people. I would love to learn from you. It would mean so much to me if you could share a little of your story. So.... let's start a conversation:
What has your journey following God looked like? What has been the thing you have loved the most about it? What do you wish could be different? Would you be willing to share something vulnerable about the not so good parts of your journey with God?