Living in Southern California, we have famous theme parks in driving distance. The last time we were at Knott’s Berry Farm, my wife and two boys had gone on most of the big rides except one. Late in the night, we stood sizing the Xcelerator ride, and from sheer intimidation, we passed. Leaving the park, the moment of yellow-bellied-chicken-ness gnawed at my soul. I knew something was lost.
So when we came back a year later, I was predetermined to go on that ride. It helps in life when you show up for the adventure! No chickening out this time. The boys were up for it, Robin, (the only one still thinking straight), went to the sidelines to play cheerleader.
This world-class coaster is the closest thing you will ever get to being shot out of a canon. You go from 0 to 90 in 2.3 seconds. It takes you up over a nasty ninety-degree vertical twisting loop. More than the ride itself, I loved the moment in line watching the anticipatory expressions. Before launch, people were: hyperventilating, closing eyes, saying prayers, and releasing screams. No doubt, it required courage!
If you get in line for God’s mission, I happen to believe that there are many benefits to your growth. It moves us out of our selfishness. It teaches us dependence on the Spirit. It makes us humble learners to get alongside someone with the challenge of getting though with the gospel. Another thing, not to be missed, is how it requires our character. Without exception, mission exacts courage. You have to dig down to engage in something that is difficult. It involves heart and commitment. This type of stretching is preciously good for human souls.
So I am praying for my readers today. May you ditch your yellow-bellied chicken-ness, and dive headfirst into the task of reaching someone for Jesus. Who is that person coming to mind, right now? They could be near or far in proximity to you, or near or far from God. Yes, you’re sized it right—leading one from the secular into the spiritual won’t be easy. Take a couple deep breaths. But don’t forget, the challenge itself will bring out the very best in you!