My brother JoJo approached life full throttle, and most of the time I was right behind him. But not every time! One day while riding our motorcycles through a farmer’s field, he pointed to a high mound of dirt in the distance and shouted over the engines, “come on, lets do a wheelie off that hill!” Something about the ‘mound’ didn’t smell right to me, but before I could respond I was engulfed by dust and dirt. I watched as he raced toward it, stood up and got ready to take air. But instead of the bike wheels ripping into rising earth, JoJo stayed level, and ended up waist high in green oozing cow manure! His bike began to choke, as I idled over. The stuff had already been sucked into the intake manifold, and began seeping out of the exhaust. With a final gasp, the bike conked out. “Help me out of here!” he screamed. “Not on your life,” I said, smiling.
My brother craved adventure. He was only one year my elder, but stronger, street wise, and more daring. I siphoned his enthusiasm and courage all the time, and you know what happened? It got stuck in me. Nothing like JoJo, but enough to carry me into my own set of impossible predicaments, needing intervention. These are the memories that stand taller than all others. JoJo taught me a kind of audacity, which allowed me to live life at full throttle.
I want to follow God that same way.
The way I see it, the Bible tells us to ‘keep in step with the Spirit’ on this grand adventure called the Christian life. If that’s to happen, I’m going to need a way to stay stubbornly in touch with God’s impossible pace and intensity. The vehicle that helps me most is my daily time with Him in prayer. I don’t know how anyone can spend time there without siphoning faith, taking courage. We get behind his wake that way. It can take perhaps 15 minutes, and that focus charges batteries of spiritual desire, brings life into exhaustion, and hope into pragmatism. It can be enough to wake us come morning with a renewed resolve to trust God, to follow hard on His heels, and respond to his overtures—to ask Him for faith that sticks, and leads into the impossible.
God knows what will stir my heart, and what will lead to His purposes being fulfilled. He see’s the adventure long before I do, and gets me ready. It’s in following that wake that I siphon trust. He’s not JoJo, throwing me in front of impossible odds, just to feel the thrill. But in prayer sometimes, I do hear Him, shouting over the engine, and through the dust and dirt of my harried life. He’s taking pains to align my heart in order to lead me into opportunities that, yes will thrill, but only in alignment with His honor, glory and kingdom built in lives around me. “Come on, let’s do a wheelie off that hill!” Only this time I can trust Him, because He knows what that mound is made of.
If we dared to live in God’s wake, we would see renewal, perhaps a little like those first disciples who got behind God, and siphoned from Him the courage and audacity to ‘upset the whole world.’
When have you risked something so big, that you needed God’s intervention to get through it?