Get a life!

“Get a Life!”

Do you remember hearing that as a young person? Perhaps you hurled it at someone in high school or in elementary school on the playground. I remember the days before I came to Jesus. I knew I didn’t have much of a life. I was really becoming effective at wearing different masks to make it look like I had a life but really I didn’t.

No education (high school drop-out), no job, no sense of responsibility, no real sense of who I was or where I was going. God was stirring but I spent years pushing, I was strangled by my lack of resources, and life was full of meaningless relationships. I had a slight sense of what I wanted but had no idea how to achieve it. I lived for many years thinking that those things that stirred deep inside me were beyond reach, until one day a couple people had the eyes to see those things. Then, they called them out in me. I had been dead and was now being called to life.

I remember the journey. I remember the process as if it were yesterday.

Jeff is a young guy in our faith community. When I met him he was living with a single mom and her two kids. He had no job, no sense of identity, absolutely no resources, no education, few if any meaningful relationships, and little hope of things ever changing.

Guys like this remind me of the stories of some of Jesus’ twelve disciples; a few fishermen who were rejected by the Jewish religious education system because they didn’t make the cut. So, they were relegated to lives of hard labour running the family business. Can you imagine what it was like when Jesus called these men forward? Andrew runs to his brother, Simon, and tells him that he had been called forward. It wasn’t just any Rabbi that was doing the calling. It was the One they had been waiting for; “We found the Messiah!”, they declared.

Immediately, after Simon approached Jesus, Jesus did two things. First, He told Simon who he was “You are Simon, son of John”. Secondly, Jesus gave Simon a new name “You will be called Cephas (which means Peter)”.

This is one of the foundational building blocks of our pioneering work in Nelson. It’s about calling people forward, watching as Jesus gives them a new name, and then journeying with them as they grow in purpose and new identity, and witness passion emerge as they learn to be like the One who called them forward.

Jeff is now a follower of Jesus. He is married. He has learned to work hard to provide for his family, and he is now finishing his second year plumbing apprenticeship. Most importantly, he is now an apprentice of the One who called him forward and who gave him a new name.

Jeff really did get a life.

Daniel Snell

~ by blueporch on November 16, 2010.

One Response to “Get a life!”

  1. …sometimes we have to look pretty hard to find the life and potential in others…but it’s always there. I’m reminded of this quote…can’t remember who said it…

    “Instead of looking into a person’s past, Christ calls us to see their potential and treat them to the highest standard of who they are to Him.”

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