Hey There! Here is this week’s Living Water! It is the introduction to my new book, With You Every Step of the Way, now available on Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/You-Every-Step-Way/dp/1617778389/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316536283&sr=1-1 and as eBook, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-61777-838-4 It’s one of my favorite parts of the book because it captures what I believe about being a pastor and what I have been trying to do for most of my life. Blessings, Christopher
Walk With Me
I have always been a fan of journeys. Growing up, as soon as I was able and all the way to graduation, I walked to school. I loved it. In college, I was able to go from the student center to across the street from where we lived with a combination of buses and trains. Near the end of college, I started on the greatest journey. I had always believed in God, but with just a few months left before graduating, I went on a walk, a journey during which I committed my life to Jesus and His will and design for my life. And that is when everything started to change.
No longer was the journey as easy as walking home from school or making the train or bus. No longer was the journey measured in footsteps or miles, but rather in faith steps. The journey got much more complicated—as well as wondrous, perilous, and joyful.
It seems very accurate and appropriate to think of the life of faith as a journey. Now, to be sure, this is no random jaunt or spree! Each and every step of our journey is intimately and definitively known by our loving God, who is there every step of the way. This book, With You Every Step of the Way, is putting to words, creating a word atlas, illustrating the things that we pick up, let go of, share, imagine, need, and that come with this journey. In broad terms, these things are: assurance, heart and soul, fellowship, possibilities, and transformation.
But I have to tell you something. Too often I have thought I had figured out things like who and what could be counted on; I thought I had looked inside and changed enough; I thought for sure I knew what God was up to. I have tried to take faith steps along the way on my own, thinking that I knew better than God, thinking that I was invincible and didn’t need any guidance or support from others either. In all of this, I couldn’t have been more wrong. And my journey reveals this fruitlessness: the dead ends, the wandering, the times of isolation, and the disorientation, as well as, by grace alone, the fruit: the miracles, the dreams, the loves, the stands, the revelations, and the reaches. See, from God’s perspective, there is no part of the journey that isn’t part of the journey; nothing is wasted in the kingdom economy and in our lives. Each and every step can be used to draw us closer to God and can be used to comfort, console, and encourage others. Through it all, and thanks to God’s faithfulness and mercy, I have learned and experienced so much, from the wonderful to the tragic and everything between, and I think I have discovered enough to be able to authentically share it with you. So this is me taking my journey and steps, taking my worn and torn maps and notes, and sharing them in the hopes of helping you with yours.
Like any good guide, I want to walk alongside you for a while, sharing, reflecting, and taking steps. Maybe we can even stop and sit and rest for a while together. All of our journeys include mountaintops, valleys, and wildernesses; and it often seems like the weight we carry doesn’t get any lighter. As you know, I can’t alter the journey God has graciously designed for you, but I can encourage you, whisper wisdom and insight, help reveal purpose and promise, laugh and cry with you, and make it more bearable, as well as illuminate pitfalls, landmarks, and breathtaking views along the way.
So, would you walk with me for a while?
Rev. Christopher B. Wolf
Christopher B. Wolf is the author of Giving Faith a Second Chance: Restarts, Mulligans and Do-Overs (2007) and the forthcoming, With You: Every Step of the Way (September, 2011).
“It is a matter of sharing and bearing the pain and puzzlement of the world so that the crucified love of God in Christ may be brought to bear healingly upon the world at exactly that point.” N.T. Wright