One of the things that I assumed when I first started going to Journey was that everyone else there was perfect. Unlike me, of course. I looked around and everyone seemed so perfect. So, what's the word I'm looking for, put together. To me, everyone had given their lives to Jesus at an early age and had since been living a life of mission trips, Jesus camps, perfect marriages and children, and marvelous friendships. Now, I knew logically that it wasn't true but that was my perception at the time. I figured there were a couple other damaged goods kinda folks like me there but we were few and far between. Perhaps looked upon as a novelty for all the other good church going folk.
It's been awesome learning that I was totally mistaken. It seems I go to church with a bunch of other people that are just like me. People that struggled for years before finding "The Way". I love that phrase, I think that I picked it up in Acts. People that had and have what Ed called broken cisterns. My kind of people. I'd like to think Jesus' kind of people.
It's funny because I wouldn't have exactly thought of myself as Jesus' kind of people. Most of my experience prior to Journey had been (whether it's true or not I'm not sure, it was my perception) of Christians that seemed to veer from self righteous to patronizing in their attitudes to a person of my ilk. Nothing that exactly appealed to me to come over to that side of the fence. If I was going to be a prideful, arrogant know it all I could do it from my side of the fence. On my side at least I knew all the answers.
I'm always amazed how God works. How He puts exactly the people you need to hear right in front of you at the time that you need to hear them. That's happened many times over since I've been attending Journey the last couple of years. It's not just Journey either. In my travels through the Christ Following peeps on the Internet as well. In the last couple of years I've heard other Christ followers talk about their struggles with addiction, pride, sex, abuse, fear, money, depression, and all the other myriad issues that we as humans deal with in our lifetimes.
I love the hope that it gives me. Not that I want to be a shiny, happy member of the congregation. There are other things that I DO want that I see in my fellow Journeyites. I want their passion for Christ. I want their faith. I want their determination. I want their spirit of service to their fellow man. I'm blown away constantly by the things I see other members of my church doing. Whether it's leading people in prayer or adopting children from Africa or raising their children up in the Holy Spirit or helping people in TJ or feeding the homeless of a Friday night it inspires me to take that next step into a more aligned path with God. "The Way".
This is just a little thank you for everyone sharing their stories, their journeys, with me over the last couple of years. Letting me know that there aren't any perfect people. That God uses us in all of our inglorious natures to reach others that wouldn't be able to hear the Good News from any other person.
Thank you Lord for everything that I have been through. I understand now that I needed to do what I did so that I can reach those who might otherwise be unreachable. Thank You for those that You have brought to me that I was able to hear their message of Your grace and Your love for them and how through Your Son whose incomparable sacrifice made my life redeemable as well. Amen.
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