These words from Mark Batterson are quite apropos as we begin a new year. Batterson was referring to a trip he took to the Galapagos islands in which he read the above words on a Sprite can! As he stated, "The trip was one adventure after another...I think those words resonate with one of our deepest longings in the human heart — the longing for adventure."
Now you may be saying, "One adventure after another is just not good for me right now." However, hear me out. What would it mean to each of us as people of faith to live our lives as a journey of faith...an adventure of faith? What if we let go of our preconceived notions about our "church life" that says why take a chance and do away with the status quo because it feels "safe" to us? "Why would I, at my age or my place in life, want to have one adventure after another?" Sounds to me like a wild goose chase. Exactly!
Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit An Geadh-Glas — the wild goose. Perhaps a wild goose chase is exactly what Spring Creek needs to undertake! Let's face it, we Christians have a tendency to try to "tame" God's Spirit. We try to do so by using just our reasoning skills to understand what God's Spirit can do in us, individually and as a community of faith, and for many of us, we aren't expecting much.
Mark Batterson, in his book, Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God, says that Christian communities become unnerved and disoriented because we abandon our pursuit of God. We lose our passion for adventure because of various things we let overcome us. Batterson calls these "cages." These cages are: cage of responsibility; cage of routine; cage of assumptions; cage of guilt; cage of failure; cage of fear. Are any of these sounding familiar?
We stop our pursuit of God because we want to control the Holy Spirit instead of following God's Spirit. "Instead of serving God's purposes we want [God] to serve our purposes." As well, we may prefer to stay in our "cages" so that we won't have to risk going on an adventure for which we cannot control!
Why are we determined to set out on a faith journey (adventure) where we want to get out in front of God? You and I know the results will not be great.
What would happen if everyone at Spring Creek decided to go on a great adventure — a wild goose chase? I am offering you an invitation to join me on a wild goose chase in January so we can be part of something that is bigger than us. Are you in?
A Prayer for the New Year from Our Global Ministries' Partners
As we draw near to the 12th day of Christmas, the holy day of Epiphany, we find ourselves filled with gratitude for the many gifts that you've given us. In a world of uncertainty, we can find peace and grounding in the knowledge of your steadfast love for us.
We ask, God, that as we look toward starting a new year that you would continue to guide us and to lead us. We ask that you might give us the courage and strength to trust you and follow the example that Jesus set for us. And as we consider the day of Epiphany and the journey of the magi, O God, we ask that we, too, would find the ability within ourselves to give of our time, talents, and resources to honor Christ.
We ask all of these things in your name, remembering that you are our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. Amen.
UPCOMING SERVICES AND SERMON TOPICS
Worship is at 10:30 Sunday morning unless otherwise noted.
01/07/18 Epiphany and Baptism of Jesus — Communion Sunday
Wild Goose Chase: Being on a Life-long Spiritual Adventure — Matthew 19:13-22 (Message Translation); Acts 19:1-7 (NRSV)
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." –Helen Keller
Batterson, Mark. Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God (p. 1). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
01/14/18 Healing and Anointing Sunday
Wild Goose Chase: Being Dreamers — Genesis 37:17b-27 (NRSV)
We need more dreamers today who dream of a new creation in Jesus Christ.
01/21/18 — Wild Goose Chase: Sometimes It Takes a Shipwreck — Acts 28:1-4 (New Living Translation)
"If you want to make God laugh, tell [God] your plans." –John Chancellor
Batterson, Mark. Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God (p. 117). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
01/28/18 — Wild Goose Chase: Then and Now — Matthew 5:38-48 (NRSV)
"The price of our vitality is the sum of all our fears." –David Whyte
Batterson, Mark. Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God (p. 143). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.