Sunday, 7 January 2018

of Bumper Stickers and Tailgating Jesus

Well here we are, one week into yet another new year. A time to celebrate and share hopes and dreams for good things ahead. So let me ask, how has 2018 been for you thus far? Awesome? Maybe less than awesome? Perhaps ‘Meh’ describes it best? I confess that mine was pretty awesome … on day one. After that it’s been, well, rather, … meh.

I’ve never really been one too much for New Year’s resolutions; mostly I think they’re a waste of time and never last the first week anyways. If they do, there’s probably a pretty good chance that come February, they’ve already fizzled out. I’m not sure what the actual statistics are on New Year’s resolutions, or if anyone has actually studied them for that matter. However, I remember some years back when my wife and I were members at a local gym, we always saw a huge increase in traffic at the gym on January 1. By mid-month, you'd never know it; traffic patterns were pretty much back to pre-January norms. New Year’s resolutions are, well, … meh.

But I’m not pointing fingers; eventually my own lofty weight loss and fitness goals also fizzled out. I know that I should get back to it, but often something inside of me just seems to time and again say, … meh.

Having said that, there is one “resolution,” however, that I do desire to see succeed, though often I feel like I’m only batting 5% at best. Year after year, and often throughout the months in between, the regular desire of my heart, is a closer following of Jesus. This yearning is evidenced by this bumper sticker someone created and shipped to me recently.

Are you following JESUS this closely?

What a timely gift! I love the double entendre; it speaks loudly to my abhorrence with tailgaters (even though I have to confess that sometimes I’ve been one too). Perhaps more importantly, it asks the sobering question: How closely do we follow the Lord whom we claim to love and follow?

While in context referring to the end of the Babylonian captivity, I believe the Lord’s message through the prophet Jeremiah to the people of Israel rings just as true to you and me today. The Lord said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Yes, a different context, but the same divine expectation from the same God. Are we seeking God with all our hearts, or only with half (or less) of them? Remember, Jesus himself said that he wasn’t into lukewarm followers (Revelation 3: 15-16).

Are you following JESUS this closely?

I’m not there yet, not by a long shot! But as I pick myself up and dust myself off from my latest sad-excuse for a Christian walk, I resolve to move forward and strive to follow Jesus a little closer, and with a little less lukewarmness. Thankfully God is gracious, merciful and loving, and He does pick up the pieces of broken lives that seek after Him with all their hearts.

So here we are at the genesis of another new year. It is exciting to see what God may have in store for us. As we wait on Him, I'd like to challenge each of us to be tailgaters of JESUS. Yes, follow Him that closely. But please, let's refrain from tailgating the car in front of us; that might not end as well.

And, please, no more, … meh.


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