We are proud to be called dirty Christian’s
I was reading a book called Mere Disciple by Jeff Strong the other day in which he described the difference between being a follower of Jesus and being his disciple. His metaphor was powerful. He talked of those in Bible times wanting to be so near their rabbi that the dust from his robes would kick up onto theirs and make them dirty. Shelterwood’s mentors are dirty. These young men and women, like the disciples in the New Testament, give up their lives and livelihoods to get closer to Jesus and to become LIKE Him, not just to follow Him. Jesus came to love the broken-hearted and to transform lives. This is exactly what our mentors do each and every day with the students at Shelterwood. My question for the rest of us is how dirty are we? Are we following Jesus so closely that we can hear Him, talk to Him intimately and trust His leading even when it doesn’t make sense? Or are we following at whatever distance we are comfortable with, content to be selective with His teachings and only hearing Him occasionally when it suits our interests? Jesus calls us to be his disciples, under His mentorship and guidance. We can learn a thing or two from these young adults who want to get dirty with the Rabbi’s dust.
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A group of university alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit an old professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests something to drink, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups — porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite — telling them to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself, adds no quality to the coffee in most cases, just more expense and in some cases, it even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups … and then began eyeing each other’s cups.
Now consider this: Family life is the coffee, and the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of the lives we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us. Maybe it is time to spend a little more time and effort on the parts of our life that have meaning and connect us to those we love.