The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Today’s “to-do:” Show up.

with 2 comments

Monday. Go! Do the most important thing! Don’t miss it! Don’t get off the track! Don’t waste time!

Sounds good. And yet, something is strange about it – something jittery and vaguely alien. Then I read these words:

butler-bass-2.jpg… what if Jesus is not a MapQuest sort of map, a superhighway to salvation? What if Jesus is more like old-fashioned street signs … navigated by imagination and intuition? Rather than a set of directions to get saved, Jesus is, his earliest followers claimed, “the Way.” Jesus is not the way we get somewhere. Jesus is the Christian journey itself, a pilgrimage that culminates in the wayfarer’s arrival in God. When Jesus said, “Follow me,” he did not say “Follow the map.” [Or the perfect “to-do” list that makes me feel competent and in controlM] Rather, he invited people to follow him, to walk with him on a pilgrimage toward God. …

Diana Butler Bass…the Christian life is one of “continuing invitation,” where, through the “stirrings of the Holy Spirit, Christ calls us to follow.” … God keeps asking us to show up through grief, confusion, joy, hopelessness, and fear. “In every situation … Christ is in the middle offering an invitation. …”

How do you go on the pilgrimage? Show up. Begin the way. …
Christianity is a kind of vast spiritual and historical migration, a mobile city of pilgrims, all on their way to a country where there are no maps…. Although no map… can fix the way, there are signposts … toward the wisdom of God, toward love, toward home. Things like hospitality, contemplation, healing, testimony, and justice. [The very things that my task-focused “to-do” list fails to mention! – M] …

From the earliest days of the Christian faith, Jesus’ followers, known as people of the Way, were recognized by what they did- practicing hospitality and forgiveness. Too often, contemporary Christianity seems to be a religion about belief, a kind of spiritual club that can be joined by agreeing to a statement of faith.

But emerging Christianity is not about pure doctrine or agreeing with a set of philosophical presuppositions. … Being a Christian is not a one-moment miracle of salvation. It takes practice. It is a process of faith and a continuing conversion. …

Practices invite weary nomads to join the journey, to find home, to create a different kind of village, to enter the memory of Jesus …

– from Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith by Diana Butler Bass, pp. 72-74

Mmm, yes, right. I don’t need perfect time management mastery. I need to show up in life – a pilgrim with open eyes, watching, waiting, learning, changing.

OK. God, here I am.

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Written by Monte

January 22, 2007 at 2:28 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Hello Monte

    I just read Today’s “to-do:” Show up. What an excellent book and some great thought provoking comments. I happened to stumble on your blog by accident and am glad that I did. I will bookmark you on my browser and try and visit you when I get a chance.

    Discovering other Christian bloggers on the internet is very encouraging for me and it is interesting to read their thoughts. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, it is not always possible to keep up with my only blog, let alone read those of others. But I try to visit other sites around once a week.

    As disciples of Jesus Christ, He challenges us to walk with Him daily, to discover more about Him on a moment by moment basis. It is not easy, nothing in the Christian life is, but it is totally worth it.

    As the author Diane that you quoted from said, it is about showing up. Our desire should be to simply be available for God, to open our hearts to Him first thing in the morning and share those first vital moments with Him. Being available, means be willing to be taught and shown by the Master and He desires to reveal new things to us because He loves us. And when we first receive from God, not seeking to do anything but receive, we are in a position to share this with others around us.

    I have been trying to work my way slowly through the book of Proverbs. There are some great verses, so much wisdom that is contained that are so relevant for our lives. Summed up, we could say that it is about learning wisdom from God, so we can think with God and like God on the issues that affect our lives. From learning to think with God, receive His Wisdom and life of God imparted directly to us and then letting Him live it out through us. Then we become living Epistles and we reveal Christ to others, by word and by deed – a great form of outreach to those who do not know Him.

    All because we are available to Him; we show up.

    And guess what? – you showed up by setting up your blog and making it available to God to use as He wishes. And others show up to do the same! We are doing it already!

    Thank you and God Bless you.


    Tony Cooper

    January 26, 2007 at 10:24 am

  2. Dear Monte,

    Thanks for dropping by and a remarkable comments. Really appreciatte it. Currently Malaysian Bloggers are sailing into unchantered water. We do not know where its heading. Two of our friends, two of the most responsible lot has been suit by government run Newspaper. Lets not go into the case. Its a clear cut defamation suits that’s all I can say.

    I am confident, we can win this case. But it may takes 10 years to settle and hundred of thousands of USD as well. On top of that, there will be the appeal process and so on.

    We are calling the Newspaper Giant Conglomorate for fair play. We hit you, hit us back with facts and figures. Proove us wrong, posted a message or publish in their papers. Why take us to court when you can have you pride back for free. If our posting is wrong, we will definitely apologise. If they are not satisfy after our apologies, then go ahead an sue us.

    This action by the Newspaper is politically motivated. A clear cut aggresor towards the blogger to intimidate us, to incite fear amongst us.

    Monte, if we need your support, this is the time. Pray for our safe journey towards the unchantered water.


    My regards to all my brothers and sisters in US.


    January 22, 2007 at 7:34 pm

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