I sat in the front row listening intently as he said with sincerity, conviction and confidence, "Following God has been the greatest adventure of my life." As his words drifted into my ears and settled in my heart, I thought to myself, I want that same kind of adventure.
The very word adventure intrigued me, perhaps because my life had felt fairly ordinary. No significantly life-altering events (positive or negative), had characterized my life. The very possibility of excitement, remarkability, and unpredictability was a welcome interruption in my seemingly ordinary life.
There was nothing glamorous about this man or the life he called an adventure. He was ordinary. It was 2004, meaning he had no platform– no personal tweets, no posts, no pins, no posed photos– only his personal encounter with Jesus Christ and the promises of God.
The man simply showed up. He showed up to meet with God in His Word every day. He showed up to dinner with his family and to wash dishes. He showed to his kids basketball games. He showed up for couples when their marriages were crumbling. He showed up for his neighbor after the car wreck that caused him to finally surrender to Christ.
And the man who opened up. He opened up his heart to Jesus Christ and let Him be Lord. He opened up his garage when people needed their vehicles fixed. He opened up his home whenever someone knocked. He opened up His Bible anytime anyone asked him for advice. He opened up his wallet when there was a need God wanted to meet through him. He opened up His life simply with willingness to be used of God.
Nothing glamorous. He simply showed up and opened up for ordinary people and ordinary life and yet, he called following God an adventure.
That day wasn't the first time I sat in the front row. I had a front row seat to that man's life for almost 24 years.
That man was my father.
I had a front row seat to following Jesus in everyday obedience. Nothing glamorous, simply faithfulness.
I tell you this because I keep hearing these two words to describe God tasks in our lives: big and small. She's doing big, glamorous things for God. I'm just doing small things. We assume big (whatever that means) is significant and small (however we measure) must be less. We have determined it must be one of the two.
But here's the thing: I don't know if God calls things big and small. But we sure do. I don't find in scripture where He deems obedience significant and insignificant. But we sure do. We are the ones who created a system of comparison and measuring up instead of simply following God in everyday obedience.
In Matthew 25:14-30, the Master distributed talents to his three slaves: 5, 2 and 1 respectively. When he returned and the two slaves reported doubling what they had been given, the Master's reply to both of them was the same:
Well done good and faithful slave. You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share in your Master's joy!
Not "Well done, good slave who did BIG things," and "Well done, good slave who did SMALL things." To both He replied, "Well done good and faithful slave." From His perspective, the slaves were simply entrusted with "a few" things and his response to them was "You were faithful."
Maybe He has not called us to go big or stay small. Maybe those are our words. He has called us to faithfulness.
He wants us to be faithful to follow Him in everyday obedience.
Following someone requires spending time with them. As you spend time with them, you will get to know them. As you get to know Him, you will recognize their voice. And then you will know when they're speaking.
To be faithful to Him is simply to follow Him in everyday obedience.
How about instead determining what is big and small, we aim to faithfully follow Jesus in the everyday kind of ways.
As you follow Him, I have a sneaking suspicion you'll find yourself right smack in the middle of the greatest adventure of your life.