It’s always good to go on holiday to step back and see what is going on in this thing called life!
I’ve just returned from a biking holiday from Paris to Barcelona. My companions for this adventure were my two good friends Dan Harris and Luke Bunting. During our travels, amongst all the banter, hard peddling and larking around, God spoke to me about ‘Declaring the Big Picture’.
As we travelled through France and Spain we came across some incredible people who we had never met before and probably never meet again. Language was always going to be a barrier as the three of us knew very little French or Spanish. However, during the two weeks we developed some phrases and ways in which we could ask for directions to campsites and shops.
On one occasion Dan and I were biking 130+ miles in a day and half to catch up on distance. After 5 hours of hard biking we knew there was a campsite 30km ahead (having been told by locals) in which we could rest and eat. However, when we arrived at 8pm, with shattered legs and low energy, we were told my a local that there were no campsites! I continue to insist that there were campsites but the local was correct!!! At first this lady was passive to our downcast faces but once we showed her the distance that we covered and where we were heading, her immediate response turned into compassion. After a few phone calls, discussions with her boyfriend, she put our bags in her car and we followed her to a forest where we could camp wild in safety for the night. Not only did she show us a safe place to camp but she gathered what she could from her cupboards and supplied us with food for the night.
It wasn’t until we reveled to this lady the big picture of where we had been and where we were heading that her heart was captivated and became compassionate. So often, as a person that follows Jesus, I hardly tell people the big picture of my life and who Jesus is to me. I might occasionally mention Jesus/church in my week but it often goes like this…
‘Yeah, had a great weekend…I went to church and it was really good’!
I rarely continue the discussion to mention all the stuff that Jesus has done in my life and what he means to me and my friends.
Does this sound familiar?
Perhaps I am ashamed to declare the BIG PICTURE of who Jesus is in my life? Maybe I have forgotten that this life is not mine but one that always points to Jesus? Maybe I am so consumed with myself that I don’t talk about Jesus enough?
There could be lots of reasons but I need to move on from doubting myself, pulling myself down from the missed opportunities and face the life that I have in front of me.
People are longing to hear the Big Picture, to witness a bit of the Big Picture of Jesus. I know this to be true! People are longing for something bigger than this life. People want to hear the true Jesus story…Christ in YOU! So stop throwing a load of Bible verses at people (that often mean nothing to them now) or inviting them to cheesy christian events! Instead, why not share your story of Jesus working in and through you. People want to know what Jesus means to you. People long to know why you believe and how you live your life. It’s simple but we (christians/the church) have complicated it.
Enough ranting! I will continue…
During my short visit in Barcelona I went to the Sagrada Familia, a large Roman Catholic church in the heart of the city. Designed by the Catalan architect Antioni Gaudi, it’s impressive features stand out for miles and the breath taking view captures crowds from across the world. But what impressed me the most was the depiction of the Jesus story on the outside of this magnificent place of worship. In stone, at the entrance of this decorative building is the story of Jesus’ final days before his death and resurrection. It was very moving to stand in the shadow of this giant building telling the most incredible story on earth. It was also incredible to witness thousands of people from across the globe looking in awe and wonder at the Jesus story. But this is only just a building which lends its self to be a canopy for declaring the Big Picture. It will of course stand longer than my years on earth but we are also meant to be a canopy for Jesus…our whole life should be one that declares the Big Picture of Jesus.
Am I, are we, declaring the Big Picture of Jesus? Can our mid week conversations go from…
“yeah, church was good last Sunday”
“can I tell you something about my life that has dramatically shifted my mind and heart…Jesus did it and this is why…”