There is a common phrase that sportscasters use when a rookie is struggling on the football field. They say the game needs to “slow down” for that young athlete. That means the action is too fast and furious for them to react correctly. When the game "slows down" that player will be much more effective. That simply means that with experience and growth the athlete will learn what matters, what to react to, how not to get faked out, and how to respond properly in each situation. The game really doesn’t “slow down” but the player’s response to the speed of the action is much more mature.

I think that is what is happening for me after all of these years. My once frenetic efforts to be a "good Christian" are slowing down. I think I am learning more about what matters, what to react to, how not to get faked out by Satan, and how to respond in grace. The circumstances and trials in my life did not “slow down” but my response them has changed.  

A great way to get some less than grace filled responses from the spiritual hall monitors is to quote an R-rated movie. But I think this quote from the movie Bull Durham fits in well.

"Nook" LaLoosh (from Bull Durham): "A good friend of mine used to say, "This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. Think about that for a while."

In many ways Christianity is a very simple faith that we have made incredibly legalistic and difficult. To paraphrase the line above. "You love the Lord your God. You love your neighbor. Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes life rains on you."

Why do I want to make it so maddeningly complex? Today's song by Chris Tomlin has one of the secrets that helped the game "slow down" for me. The lyrics from "I Will Follow" help make this journey a little more simple.

All your ways are good
All your ways are sure
I will trust in you alone
Higher than my side
High above my life
I will trust in you alone

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow you
Who you love, I'll love
How you serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow you
I will follow you

I will follow you

Hmmmm. Maybe if I give up my need to figure everything out and sound smart I will actually be more effective. Maybe if I just follow Him I will learn to naturally do all the things I have been struggling so hard to do. There seems to be some precedent for this concept of simply following Jesus. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19, NIV

  • But Jesus told him, "Follow me"….   Matthew 8:22, NIV
  •  "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. Matthew 9:9, NIV
  • "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."  Matthew 16:24, NIV
  • "Then come, follow me."   Matthew 19:21, NIV
  • Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."   John 1:43, NIV
  • "Whoever serves me must follow me;"   John 12:26, NIV
  • Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."   John 21:22, NIV

In the immortal words of Forrest Gump…"I'm not a smart man". But like Forrest I have a keen sense of the obvious. I have surmised (brilliantly) that Jesus wants me to follow Him. The rest of it we will figure out together.