I am making 2020 my year of rereading. A little over a month and some change into the new year this discipline has already paid dividends. I’ve reread a handful of old favorites and just concluded Run with the Horses, by Eugene Peterson. This one has awakened some of the dead in me. Eugene writes beautifully and thoughtfully about the life of Jeremiah and his ancient Jewish team. He lived a life serving God and his people and was not paid handsomely but instead was persecuted for his attempt at protecting. He embraced a life of faith and ambiguity. He chose to serve when he could have chosen to be served. He chose to stay behind with the poor remnant when he could have traveled easily with King Nebuchadnezzar and enjoyed retirement in his court. He chose to play the infinite game in the face of failing in the present moment. He argued with God without abandoning his faith. He chose, as Bono likes to say – Vision over visibility.
The moment that life is unfair and the least bit unwieldy, I start grasping for answers and demanding, somewhat incredulously, that they come in a New York minute. My patience runs short. One bad practice and I’m questioning what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and go on the lookout for a better, more worthy team to serve. God forbid that I suffer a string of ‘em! I like clarity and constant adoration for my service. When I recently got bumped off Southwest Airlines A list, my immediate reaction was to fight like hell to get it back. I mean come on man, I was only a few points shy of the required number, couldn’t they show me a little grace? I could go on and on. Small inconveniences grieve my sorry soul. I grow tired and frustrated easily. The vision for running with horses? NFW.
Jeremiah chose vision over visibility. He lived a live of faith and chose to serve a remnant over being serviced in first (or A) class. Rereading his Builder’s journey courtesy of Eugene has humbled and inspired my sorriness to stop looking down to compare and look up (at least every once in awhile) to catch a bigger vision for whom I shall serve. I’m dragging ass a bit today as I make my way from KC to Chicago for team practice and then back home tonight to the comfortable confines of Columbus. I’ll traverse the roughly 700 mile journey in the blink of an eye – a far cry from the 700 mile hike Jeremiah’s Jewish team took hoofing it in shackles all the way to Babylon back in the day. Jeremiah was tough and tender. Jeremiah lived hard and loved harder. I am not hard. I have little faith. Thankfully, a little is all it takes when you believe in a really big God. God, help my little mustard seed size faith take root. God, help me become tough and tender. God, help me serve the teams you’ve placed in front of me.
God, help me live hard and love harder. Good…