Rebirth. Not Reinvention.

rebirth

Well, it appears its time. I have to talk about giving birth.

Not that I really want to. The birth process is scary and something beyond our control…but it has to be addressed because I am afraid that too many of us are trying to reinvent our lives when we are actually called to the process of rebirth.

I am not talking here about physical birth, though the birth of a child can be a wonderful fruit of this process. It was for me. Here though, I am talking about spiritual rebirth.

In a recent post I wrote about God calling me into the spirit of adventure with him and I am afraid that for all of the whimsy that a call like that suggests, it appears that most days I am just not up to this task. Deep down, the person I most identify with, is the little girl who wants to feel completely secure. Sometimes I wonder though: Am I really that girl? All the way through to the bottom? I’m not so sure that’s true. And if its not true then maybe I cling too easily to a part of my identity that’s really, in the end, unhelpful.

In the couple of years before Ellie was born I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out who I was and what exactly I was supposed to be doing. At times I affectionately call the decade of my 20s my “awkward teenage years” and for all the laughter that gets in a conversation, the actual living of those years were incredibly difficult. It felt like learning how to walk.

There’s a moment in the gospel of John when a pharisee named Nicodemus visits Jesus at night and tells him, essentially: “I know who you are because of the signs you have been performing in our community.”

Jesus responds to the man’s certainty with a slanted truth: “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” This mysterious line sends Nicodemus into an intellectual tailspin as he realizes that while he had approached Jesus to identify with him and likely seek his allegiance he hadn’t expected Jesus to respond by holding up a mirror to him to ask him if he really knew the man in front of him in the first place.

Jesus tells him to be born again. Using terms like “born again” in our day and age is not a way to win any friends but I will say this…coming to grips with who you are, deep down, requires not just a rearrangement of what you know intellectually about yourself or your life but submitting yourself to the emotional-physical-spiritual gestation process that Jesus invites us into. Rebirth is not reinvention. He says it to Nicodemus plain as day in the text:

“You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to…the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.” John 3:5 Message Translation

Things started to change in my own life when I finally let go of what I felt I was certain of and took a chance on the mystery of the Spirit of God. First, I let go at work. Then, I let go at home. Before long I was leading an organization that birthed a business and not long after that I found out I was pregnant. If you had told me a year before this all happened that these two things would occur at the same time I would have dissolved into a puddle in front of your very eyes. Yet somehow, by saying I’d allow him to lead and then taking the next right steps with him, I got through a pregnancy, a multi-state move and a job transition with energy left to spare. Which was perfect – I now had a newborn to care for and a new life to build in a new city.

I would leave it at that but I think so much is left unsaid if I don’t share what I learned in the middle of all these crazy transitions. A few things are coming to mind:

  1. Rebirth, spiritual rebirth that is, requires a moment of consent. God is not going to drag us into spiritual maturity. He will wait patiently until we let go and allow him to lead us but he will not take one step in the direction of holistic and abundant new life if we do not take the step with him.
  2. He WILL allow our lives to become narrow and difficult. He will take us to a place where we don’t have much choice but to reach out our hand towards him in faith. He really is a loving parent. He really does want to help us out of our junk and he will make that fact obvious.
  3. Bringing something, someone or some part of ourselves to life takes ALOT of time. Way longer than you ever anticipate. So take your plans and then add some time. No, really. ADD MORE TIME THAN THAT. This will take more time than you ever imagined and this will be incredibly frustrating. There are more verses than I would like to count in scripture that say essentially: “And Joseph was forgotten and spent two years in prison…” (Genesis 40-41) Keep the faith. A broken and limited people may have forgotten, but God has not. This is not for nothing. This is how you change a life.

Finally, I would just say this. The joy on the other side of the mess will be better than you could have ever imagined. I lived in absolute terror of life for a good half decade. And that’s conservative. But I will say this: Just yesterday I sat back at the end of a beautiful spring day with a joy that spilled over into our evening. We ate dinner outside and “played lacrosse” with our daughter and I could have burst over the beauty of something that years before I would have been scared to allow myself to enjoy. Truthfully, I’m still scared some days. Thankfully, those fears are no longer driving the bus.

“Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32.

 

It is Time.

wine

Well, we’ve recently introduced Ellie to the Lion King. Such a great Disney movie that I remember seeing with my Grandmother and my sister when we went to visit her one summer in California. I remember how good it felt to sit in a freezing cold theater at midday in the desert where she lives only to leave and be warmed by both the hot air and the lingering images of Simba winning back his seat as King of the animal kingdom.  Its a warm memory as I prepare to go see them both again next weekend! I have really missed them both.

Andy and I have found ourselves quoting lines from the Lion King here and there. Lets be honest…I don’t think there was a child of the 80s who didn’t have that movie memorized. We both love the moment when Rafiki, the monkey priest, realizes that Simba is alive and he heads off to find him. In a thick Afrikaner accent he yells: “It is time!”

This line came to mind this weekend when reading about Jesus first miracle, turning water into wine. It struck me how Mary might have been more pivotal in this moment than I’ve ever given her credit for. I wonder if she was encouraging Jesus, telling him before he’d possibly grasped it himself, that he was ready to embody the kingdom. 

“Embodiment” is my new favorite word these days. I think because I’ve spent far too much time in my own head. I’ve finally entered a season where my head and heart feel at least loosely connected…and let me tell you, its lovely! I feel more like a whole person, and in that way its making me feel like a more fruitful person too.

Several years ago I found myself over-taxed with evening commitments. I had two church activities each week outside of Sunday services and was about to take on a third and realized I’d have to neglect some aspects of rest and/or physical fitness if I was going to hold all these balls in the air. It took about one week for me to realize I’d have to give up an evening bible study in order to stay connected to the other activities I felt committed to. The choice was logical if not a bit of a bummer. I really enjoyed our time with friends at the Duke house. But Andy agreed that he would continue going to those studies on his own while I took that evening to go to the university gym with a friend who I’d not spent much time with over the last couple of years (due to a literal lack of available time!).

Folks, those evenings were so much FUN! We would hit the elliptical and talk about any number of things. I’d been so steeped in a search for God’s presence through a really difficult season that I was literally oozing Jesus out of every pore of me. I couldn’t get enough of the fact that He not only promised to meet me but was also actually meeting me in the details of my life and helping me get through them in one way or another. I couldn’t help but share that with my friend who has a similar temperament as I do. Tiffany is as lacking in tolerance for frustration as I am and so she and I would talk throughout about how we were approaching different snags in life. Sometimes after our workouts we’d crack open a bible and see what there was to be said in there. I don’t think it was anything earth shattering. Mostly we just laughed and yelled “Bullsh**!” to the air as we considered what Jesus would say today about the viruses in her petri dishes at her lab and the poverty in the neighborhoods I was trying to work in. It was all just a lot of fun. (Tiff, if you’re reading…I really miss you!)

Looking back on that time is so funny to me. I had to quit a bible study to work out with my friend and I think I got more spirituality out of the workout than I would have at the study. To be fair, I needed a history of bible studies to talk intelligently about how God works. I don’t want to throw the Bible study baby out with the bath water. I do think we can become spiritually or intellectually bloated if we are not careful. There comes a time when we have to integrate what we’ve learned with our lives or we’ll get too fat to move. Which would be sad, as we were created to move…and move freely.

Which brings me back to Mary and Jesus at the wedding. I wonder if Jesus took a minute to get oriented to his ministry. He’d just been baptized and he clearly knew his mission to reconcile people to God (see verse 4 in John 2.) But maybe he needed a little help with his next step in the process. Maybe he needed Mary to say: “You’re ready. Show them what the kingdom of God is like. Give them some wine.”

I love that Mary didn’t have to say anything back to Jesus when he responded to her. He’d realize in due time what he needed to do and she knew that he’d make the next right step. By my reading, she appears to shrug off his response and instead tells the caterers: “Do whatever he tells you.”

Which could be the greatest line to a follower of God I’ve ever heard. “Do whatever He tells you.” 

God is not silent. He’s patient, and he’ll wait for us to decide if we want to partner with him, but he is not silent. Better still, he is not unaware of the fact that between this moment and our final breaths we might just run out of wine and find ourselves in a bit of a pickle, wondering what to do next.

So we do whatever he tells us. We read the scriptures if we can’t sense his voice. We remember anew that we’re witnesses to a paradoxical kingdom where the good wine is saved for last. And we realize like Jesus that there’s no time and place like our present situation to reflect what he, and Mary for that matter, are trying to say:

It is time.

 

When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.” John 2:10-11

 

Dr. King and Me

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Today, Atlanta is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the funeral procession of Martin Luther King, Jr. I love this city, I really do. I spent Friday afternoon with my kid at the Carter center and then considered last night how I might join a march with the King family on the anniversary of his death (sadly, sickness and rain kept us home). I’m remembering that this city is a place where so many good things have started (with King). And continued (with Carter, among others).

I found myself wondering along with the nation the other day what Dr. King’s death accomplished, if anything. I don’t know that I am qualified to answer that question. I should probably ask my black friends for their opinions. I do think Dr. King and I have some things in common. We both have dreams for better lives. We both believe that this can happen in response to the invitation of God in his work where “every valley shall be exalted [and], every hill and mountain shall be made low (to quote King, who quotes scripture).”

I remember the exact day in my college career when I realized I wanted something different. I had decided on a business degree because it was the logical choice for someone who would graduate with student loans. I sat in a downstairs classroom of the Sellinger Business School as my professor passed out slips of paper that had a company name on it. We had split into groups and would prepare a marketing plan for the company that we were assigned at random. My company?

Gillette Razors.

Now…I love me a good razor. I am personally glad that there are people in the world who work at the factories that make them. I suppose I’m even grateful that someone markets those razors to my local grocer so I can buy them with ease when I need them.  But I’d be lying to say that on that day my heart didn’t sink. After 17 years of school I found it somewhat demoralizing to realize that I might just finish it all to go sell razor blades. Not when I knew that there were people not one mile down the road from the classroom I sat in that would walk past our campus and consider attendance at a school like mine an impossibility. A literal dream scenario.

My momentary exasperation would eventually lead to hope as I learned just how badly the not-for-profit world needs people with business degrees. I’ve ended up putting it to good use in my career. Yet that day may have just been the moment when my life would take a turn that I didn’t expect. It didn’t totally connect with me that the desire to do kingdom work often comes with a cost.  For King it was the ultimate cost of his life. For us, its been a much slower march to certain goals than I had ever anticipated.

A surprising thing about life, for me, has been how hard it is to go after what you want. As children, people will ask us what we want to be when we grow up and we’ll say “a doctor!” or “a firefighter!” or “a ballerina!” not realizing that the process required to do those things and still keep food on the table can be incredibly difficult. People will tell you, as they told me, that it all requires sacrifice and I will agree wholeheartedly with them until the moment comes for me to actually give up on something. Even if just for a a bit more time. Its then that I start to get suspicious that I’ve been led into a bait and switch, though that couldn’t be further from the truth. I have been told all my life that I can go after what I want AND i have been told that it would require sacrifice. I just never really understood what that really meant until those two realities came together.

Which brings me to my weekend and a dream that I had. This weekend I pretty much busted at the seams as I realized that some things that I’ve wanted for our family are just taking longer to realize than I ever imagined that they would. Sometimes it feels like your dreams are just getting lost in the shuffle and you lose your cool. Sometimes, to my absolute surprise, I make certain desires ultimate things without even realizing it. I’ve put them there because the culture I’m surrounded by has put them there and told me that I’ll be able to say “I’ve made it” once I check off these boxes.

Which brings me to a dream I had on Saturday night. I dreamed that my sister was getting married. Kristin was beside herself that she was heading down the aisle. She couldn’t wait to get married and I, as her matron of honor, was just as excited for her. The only problem with this wedding day was that little things kept going wrong before the ceremony could start. I was supposed to hold onto the engagement ring and I had somehow misplaced it. Kristin’s dress had torn and she was forced to wear a black t-shirt on top with her bridal gown’s skirt on the bottom.

Over and over things would happen that were culturally problematic though I suppose not functionally so. You don’t technically need an engagement ring to get married. You can in fact get married in a torn black t-shirt and a white skirt, though perhaps you’ll be thought odd. Over and over in the dream I would finally get up the courage to break the news to my sister about the problem at hand and each time she would laugh and figure out a work around. Each time she would remind me that she just wanted to walk down the aisle and nothing could really get in the way of her excitement over that.

No sooner would I start to laugh ever so hesitantly with Kristin who could have cared less would someone pull me aside and say: “you’re not really going to let her walk down the aisle without her engagement ring, are you?” or, “We can’t start the wedding until she has a new gown. You can’t go down the aisle in a t-shirt!”

Then the dream ended. Ellie woke us up in a coughing fit. Kind of happy about that though…this is one that I want to remember. I believe what the scriptures tell us – this life is preparation for a wedding feast. Genesis starts with a wedding and ends with a wedding celebration and I’ve put all my eggs in that basket. Everything that’s beautiful in the world points to this if you have eyes to see it. The relationship between a husband and a wife. The relationship between a child and her parent. The relationship between us and our environment. The relationship between our work and our world. They are all, at their best, mini outworkings of a world and a people that are preparing for a time when the barriers between God and man are broken down for good. The best wedding you’ve ever attended.

So when my sister was excited to walk down the aisle, regardless of the particulars of how that ceremony itself would play out, she was responding to the call of her life. She was saying: “I don’t care how this all plays out. I just want to walk towards the love of my life!”

While I should have been celebrating and laughing with her I found myself pulled by a culture that said I wasn’t doing it right. Which is kind of ridiculous if you think about it. I’ve never been to the same wedding twice. Which is to say, everyone has a different path down the aisle. So what do we do when we recognize we’re being pulled from the celebration? For good or for ill, here’s what I did:

I intentionally reflected on it all and found myself thankful for the grace to see that I was torn. The night prior I had been certain that I was right as I hammered home a new plan of action for us all and you couldn’t have told me otherwise. But this dream set me straight. I apologized to God (and to Andy!) for believing that he was intentionally withholding from me. Then I couldn’t help but marvel at the fact that God would allow difficulty in my life to expose what keeps me from the expectation of the best things for us. Lastly, I asked for the faith to believe that he is already working to provide the next piece of the puzzle that is a part of our journey.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was ultimately killed for daring to dream of and speak for a better world. I wish like hell it didn’t take his death to shake us awake. Yet 40 plus years after his death I sat in a classroom one Tuesday before college graduation and realized I wanted to be a part of the feast that he, and the scriptures he tried to live by, were inviting us into. This didn’t happen in a vacuum. It came after learning about him over and over again and going on trip after trip to engage with folks who’ve had different American experiences than I. I ultimately realized I could go get a corporate job that probably paid really well but left me spiritually empty or I could hold out for a position that stirred up my heart for more partnership with God. The jobs that have pulled that out of me the most have been my roles at Habitat for Humanity and my role as a mom.

I don’t think this leap was insignificant. Taking a position that makes $30,000 a year so that economically distressed individuals can become first time homeowners is not necessarily the best investment of a 17 year private school education. At least if we’re just looking at the numbers. Staying at home with a child is even less so! But at Habitat and in this season with Ellie I see echoes of what the feast will be like in ways that I’m certain I would not have seen as a corporate marketing executive. People who were unjustly kept from opportunities for home ownership finally had the barriers removed. Seemingly insignificant things are inviting great wonder again. While my hopes for the future are taking longer to come to fruition I find that the difficulty makes their eventual appearance that much sweeter. So today I remember the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. and am encouraged by the city I live in to keep figuring out ways to live out his vision. He was not a perfect man but I know this one thing about him: he tried to show up peacefully and make space for everyone to sit at the table. I hope to follow his lead.

The full text of Dr. King’s speech is here. I can’t recommend reading it enough!

 

What is it that you want?

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Hi friends and faithful readers.

I promised myself and you all when I started this blog that I would not write a post that I didn’t feel inspired to write. When I’ve found time to write lately I have found myself trending towards the book I feel compelled to write. Unless things start to move differently I’ll likely post less often on this site in this season as I try to figure out what this thing is about. I do want to keep this blog going though so I hope thoughts will come to mind here and there that I can share with you all. I just probably won’t be terribly consistent.

That said, I’ll leave you with a few brief thoughts.

A friend of mine posted a verse from a poem by a Persian poet yesterday. It says this:

“Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” -Rumi

The longer I live this side of heaven I think this is the question of our lives. It is Christ’s question to us in the New Testament: What is it that you want?

It is the king’s question to Nehemiah when he looks downcast on account of his people and homeland.

And its the question I have for you if only because I find it does not disappoint. This is probably because the Jesus who asks it of me never lets me get away with the easy answer. He’ll sit there quietly until I’m finally honest with him about what’s weighing me down. When I finally get to that crystal clear aspect of what I’m wanting its as if I can feel him smiling and saying “OK, sounds good.” By this time in a very one sided conversation, we are usually of one accord.

Jesus is remarkably quiet. That’s probably because, like children, we’re all making plenty of noise in his presence. But silence doesn’t have to mean disengagement. Silence can just be a waiting period that allows time to catch up to the wonder of a thing. My prayer for us all is that we would use whatever waiting or silence we might find ourselves in for our betterment. Sitting before God and telling him, honestly, what we want. Meditating on the whole of the scriptures and asking God to align our hearts with His. Confessing where we know we fall short and asking for help when we don’t understand.

I’m trying to write more here today but sense its just not coming. So I’ll leave this short and sweet and share a line from Oswald’s Chambers:

“Yielding to Jesus will break every kind of slavery in any person’s life.”

If Paul can write as he did in Philippians (the book of Joy) that he knows the secret to being content in any number of situations – poverty, wealth, well fed or hungry – then I believe its possible for us too. May we be like Paul and learn what it means to do all things through Christ who gives us strength.

Lord, we need the power only you can give. Give us new eyes to see you and show us that you are the abundant life we crave. Amen. 

Eyes to See

dog

Good morning faithful readers!

Thanks for your patience as I am taking a final writing class at Emory this semester and was required to submit a significant chunk of writing for my final project. Good news – I am attempting to write a book! I’ve never done anything like this before and I am learning a lot. Mostly I am learning that writing a book is a lot more like a journey than a day trip. I’m three chapters in and the book is already taking turns I never expected.

Which brings me to what God and I are communicating about these days: Adventure.

Adventure is a funny word for me. As you grow up and get older you start to buy into the things that your natural temperament wants desperately to set in stone for you. I was a nervous kid growing up and as my mom reminded me just this weekend during her visit to Atlanta, I struggled with change. I didn’t like to try new things. This was not news to me. I’ve always been this way. But lately, I’m wondering if this life narrative of mine is getting in the way and is driving key parts of my life when it should really be riding shotgun. It appears to be the difference between letting my ego run the show as opposed to my spirit-led soul.

If you pick up Elizabeth Gilbert’s amazing book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear you will see her address this dilemma head on as she encourages her readers to lean into a creative and adventurous life. Gilbert knows in this wise way that all of us are living every day trying to keep our devilish fears from running our show. She knows that our egos, the psychological parts of ourselves that tell us who we are, are necessary but also dangerous if we don’t understand their proper role.  In the book she says this:

“Your ego is a wonderful servant, but its a terrible master – because the only thing your ego ever wants is reward, reward, reward…An unchecked ego is what Buddhists call “a hungry ghost”- forever famished, eternally howling with need and greed…My saving grace is this, though: I know that I am not only an ego, I am also a soul…My soul, when I tend to it, is a far more expansive and fascinating source of guidance than my ego will ever be, because my soul desires only one thing: wonder.”

Isn’t that lovely? And true? It reminds me of this amazing passage in the gospel of John when the disciples ask Jesus about a man who was born blind. They are walking along and pass this man who, due to his deformity, was begging on the side of the road. “Rabbi” The disciples ask him, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Then, after spitting in some mud and wiping it on his eyes Jesus heals the man of his blindness. 

I love this passage because its one where Jesus goes right after the lies we all tell ourselves. Think for a moment about anyone you’ve ever known who’s had something about themselves that they hated. You know…like…yourself. We all have parts of ourselves or our history that we wish were different and because they aren’t going away we’ve figured out some incredibly creative ways to hide them. Some of these hiding places are simply sentences we tell ourselves to keep from being exposed as a fraud.

Me, personally? I’ve always hated the part of me that’s so scared all the time. I feel like I have some natural talents and if I just wasn’t so damn afraid all the time I could really take those talents out for a spin. Forget simple blog posts. I’d write a daily blog post AND I’d write bestselling books! All while keeping a perfectly welcoming home and remaining happily married.

God knows me though. He knows that any human talent unchecked by reality will spin out of control into a god that can’t hold what its promising. So God lets me stay afraid. And I go to him on what is by now a moment to moment basis and he whispers “I’m on the case. This isn’t about you. This is about me.”

And then, for a moment, he heals.

Jesus’ healing of the blind man reminds me that God knows us better than we do. Jesus spoke so clearly to the blind man’s heart, as what blind beggar wouldn’t sit on a curb and wonder if he’d done something to deserve his disability? On a particularly bad day he’d surely blame his parents for passing along the genetic code that left him unable to see.

Jesus stomps his foot right in the middle of that hot mess and says:

“Stop talking. Stop thinking. Stop blaming. Stop planning.

Open. Up. Your. Eyes.”

Your weak spots are not about you. They are not about your parents.  They’re not about a list of do’s and don’ts. They’re about God, working mightily through your weaknesses. They’re about the paradox of the gospel made manifest. They’re about what God has been saying since the beginning of time. If you will own your smallness God will finally have room to move. And Oh, the things you will see.

Now, Open your eyes! 

A few weeks ago I was walking around our neighborhood when I saw a sign at someones curb with a note on it: “Free to a good home.” I was curious and removed the note to see a wall painting that is now hanging in our living room. It says this:

“Wouldn’t life be great if we all lived a little of it everyday.” 

Y’all, if you know me, this is HILARIOUS.

It has to be hilarious or I’d be hopping mad that God is rubbing his message in. It appears God is opening my eyes to the fact that I’ve been listening to my ego, my natural temperament, for a little too long. I’ve got a go-to line that I tell myself that says I’m just a scared little girl who has to do the things in her routine comfort zone or she’ll fall apart. I don’t think I even realize how slowly and slyly that line has weaved its way into my soul. So God, knowing this better than I do, has given me line after line after line in my life about adventure in recent weeks. He’s quite clearly trying to convince me that its time to let go of the side of the pool and join him in the deep end.

Here’s the funny thing…I don’t even necessarily know what any of this means. I have a general understanding of a few things on the calendar this year that will require some faith muscle. So far only one of those things is set in stone. And I think that’s actually the point. Its not so much that God is saying for me to hop on Expedia and book a flight I can’t afford to Europe as he’s saying I should just reach out my hands and hold onto his. He’s saying what my devotional read a couple of weeks ago:

“Give yourself fully to this adventure of increasing attentiveness to My Presence.”

He’s saying that we could be 30,000 feet in the air on a plane to the Bahamas or we could be sitting in pajamas on a rainy day in Atlanta and it doesn’t really matter. The adventure is in the communion of it all. The adventure is the fact that we’re doing it together. Because the only thing better than going on an adventure is going on an adventure with someone you love.

God will use anything from a man born blind to a woman born with a nervous temperament to get his eternal point across:

He is.

He is good.

He is glorious,

and he is reaching out to people like you and like me to re-frame the categories we put ourselves into. He wants to show the most important people in the room, namely ourselves, that he is a God of mercy and goodness and light. Truthfully, I think he’s waiting until we’re all so tired of the personal/communal blame game that we sit on the ground in our rags, lift up our faces and ask for eyes that can finally see. May the good Lord hasten that day.

***

“When we follow Jesus, it means that we don’t know exactly what it means, at least in detail. We follow him, letting him pick the roads, set the timetables, telling us what we need to know only when we need to know it…When Jesus says ‘follow me’ and we follow, we don’t know where we will go next or what we will do next…we follow the one who does know.” -Eugene Peterson, The Jesus Way