Ok, one more story about my recent trip to Japan (well, I can’t guarantee that, for the trip had a great impact on my life and I just want to share it with you…so thanks for listening). Anyway, it was something that happened that utterly terrified me. I had a fear and panic that came over me like very few things have in my life. It was not a fear of death or being harmed in any way. It was not a fear of being in a foreign place or eating different foods or trying to understand another language. No, it was not any of those that drew the quick sweat of dread that over took me in what was less than a second. I was not the fright of being mugged or accosted or bullied in any way.
It happened in the Tokyo Station which is a multi-level labyrinth of shops, trains and subways, with tunnels and turns and of course construction throwing maps and usual paths in disarray…and packed with people moving quickly. It was there this moment of near-panic struck me. I am traveling with my good friend Takeshi (our missionary in Japan who is residing in Cypress) and I had just arrived by plane from the US and had taken a train to Tokyo Station to board a Bullet Train to Sendai (a city just about two hours north of Tokyo by Bullet train). We were on our way to the Bullet Train, and no, there was not a train derailment or some medical emergency, but just as we rounded a corner it happened, I looked up and… Ok, I left out one very important detail. Takeshi walks really fast. Now I am a fast walker too, but I’m rolling this huge suitcase and there’s all this construction and I have to watch where I’m walking and navigating with this behemoth, rolling wonder of luggage…I had lost Takeshi! He was swallowed up by the sea of dark hair-fast moving-determined commuters. So there I was, not a clue where I was, and not knowing which way I was going with all my attention had been on keeping my eyes on Takeshi’s lead. I was doing fine, even relaxed, but my rolling bag stopped on a skid-free floor-tile and look down just for a second. When I looked up he was gone! That’s when the terror flashed; the dread swelled, the panic rose, all with in a half a second. And just as the adrenalin was about to launch me into finding my way, Takeshi came back and said we should go this way. I smiled and took off behind his lead with a little more passion behind my watching his every move.
This little occurrence came back to me as I was thinking and praying about our More Like Jesus spiritual growth campaign. One of the major goals during these weeks of spiritual challenge is to obviously be more like Jesus, to follow Him to do what He would do, to go where He would go, to agree with the Apostle Peter.
1 Peter 2:21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.
We are called to live and love like Jesus, and like the Apostle Paul we should also say to others…
1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
I want to ask you an important question. Are you following Jesus? Is He leading you through the confusing stations of life? Are you looking to Him to lead you through the labyrinth of decisions, disasters, and difficulties? If so, how do you know?
Just as it was so easy to take my eyes off of Takeshi, it is that easy to take our eyes off of the Lord. Yes, He is always there and will not leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), but we have put out the efforts to keep our eyes on Him; to make the choice to do so, to keep our attention on Him and His purposes, to know His Word/The Bible, to spend time often searching the Scriptures so we can identify Him clearly in the crowd of all the other would be leaders of life (like self, success, want, desire, others, etc.), to examine our life to make sure it is inline with God’s will and way, and to hold our life up and notice if we are more and more like Jesus.
Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
My little episode was for just a quick moment, but that same terror ought to hit our lives when we loose sight of Jesus’ lead. The challenge is to make sure you are following the right leader.
Seeking to Follow Jesus with you,
P.S. A lot more information about the campaign is on our web site http://www.cypresschurch.net. Why not check it out?