By Jackie Weber
“Saddle up your 🐎!!!”, the text read, and I nodded and smiled to myself. We’re dating ourselves by referencing Steven Curtis Chapman’s well-known early 90s song, but ever since Holly and I started discussing my coming on the Presence Point team, the reality that we’re in for a great adventure has made itself evident more than a few times. This time, it was a simple thing — a delayed flight late into the night that threatened the rental car reservation we needed to get us to our next Shepherd Leadership workshop. Nevertheless, as I waited for Holly and Doug and the much-needed Ford Explorer (we still had a two-hour, snowy drive to our destination), I was reminded what an amazing adventure and privilege it is for every one of us who trusts in the Good Shepherd to follow Him in obedience in the ministry He’s given us.
Every one of us. We are all blessed with an adventure, a ministry, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. Sometimes it involves hassles with rental car companies; it may include the “happy tears” delight of a long-awaited answered prayer; maybe it’s simply the mundane, like grilled cheese for dinner… again; or it’s that unexpected text at 4:00 am that turns your world upside down. Even in all this, the life of an under-shepherd following hard after Jesus is a life of transcendence, full of purpose and wonder. It’s a life wherein we receive and learn and surrender, and in so doing, we also can model to others what it looks like to walk by His Spirit. What an opportunity that is!
I’m grateful to have lived enough life now that if I pause in His presence, I can reflect with gratitude on the road He’s brought me down and perhaps even get a glimpse of the path ahead. And even if those next steps are obscured by fog, He promises to guide us through this ride of our lives.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
It will be hard. In fact, sometimes unbearably hard. I’m sure of that as well, but when we finally stand by our Shepherd’s side looking back, we won’t want to have missed it.
Today I heard these lyrics, again from Steven Curtis Chapman, but released just a year ago: “I had no way of knowin’ then just how hard the rain would fall and how fierce would be the wind. It’s been beautiful and terrible, more painful, more wonderful than I ever could have known, but even so…” Life in Christ is indeed a great, incredible adventure.
So be encouraged, faithful shepherd, and let’s together follow our Leader into the glorious unknown!
P.S. Here’s a link to the original music video of The Great Adventure by Stephen Curtis Chapman. Enjoy!