Thursday, January 14, 2010

One Word

Last night – along with a roomful of others - I was asked to describe myself in one word. One word alone, and then share it with the person sitting closest to me.

Now, that’s not such an easy task when you are put on the spot and asked to come up with something quickly. Sometimes my brain simply doesn’t come up with the required answer right away.

In my mind I wrestled with a few options for a second or two, and finally plumped for “FOLLOWER”.

Although it was a split second decision, I did struggle with whether this was the best word:

• Was it a little negative? If I’m a follower, does it mean I’m not a leader? Am I carried along at the behest of someone...or anyone?

• If I’m a follower, do I have no thoughts of my own?

• Will this single word convey what I mean to the person I’ve been asked to share it with?

In the end it felt right, because I am a follower – and for me, that has no negative connotation.

I am a follower of Jesus...a follower of The Way

There’s a passage in Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis that sums this up much better than I could:

Everybody is following somebody. Everybody has faith in something and somebody.

We are all believers.

As a Christian, I am simply trying to orient myself around living a particular kind of way. The kind of way that Jesus taught is possible. And I think that the way of Jesus is the best possible way to live.

This isn't irrational or primitive or blind faith. It is merely being honest that we are all trying to live a 'way'.

I'm convinced being generous is a better way to live.

I'm convinced forgiving people and not carrying around bitterness is a better way to live.

I'm convinced having compassion is a better way to live.

I'm convinced pursuing peace in every situation is a better way to live.

I'm convinced listening to the wisdom of others is a better way to live.

I'm convinced being honest with people is a better way to live.

This way of thinking isn't weird or strange; it is simply acknowledging that everybody follows somebody, and I'm trying to follow Jesus.


Rob said...

Thanks for this Johnny. A really helpful exercise. I understand where you're coming from. "Follower" sounds so submissive doesn't it? And yet, it is so counter-cultural that - perhaps ironically - I believe God calls Christians to *lead* others to become followers! So you're a leader too!

I find living like Jesus so hard! That's why I chose "transforming" as my one word description. I have become more aware over the past two years of the upward climb I am slowly making to be "transformed by the renewing of my mind". In that way, I'm a follower too!

God bless. RobWP

Johnny said...

Thanks for your feedback, matey.

Much appreciated.