Each day begins as a reflection for a disciple, a constant internal wrestling of the will, a reflection of whether following Jesus means a joyful escapade of exiting adventures and lasting fulfillment or a pathway that leads to a crucible path into the scorns of afflictions.
Some say following Jesus changed their lives for the better. Some testify that having Jesus in their life has given then peace in a world raging in havoc.
Some say that when they have Jesus, they are blessed materially and that life seems like a steady flow of outpouring blessing that depicts a stream flowing and steering them to paths always filled with green pastures.
A life that’s void of hardship and pain.
After all Christ died instead of them for sins that were supposed to condemn them to the gallows of death. But now, it’s all a steady flow of blessing because God ultimately sees us in Jesus.
But is this what following Jesus entails? Does this reflect a theology that is close to what it means to be a disciple of Jesus? I think too much of our teachings stem for the spring of what i mentioned above. Most of our daily inspiration and preconceived ideas are directed to a meaning or passage of blessing that entails bliss forevermore. And because of that we crucify to death the meaning of following Jesus.
I think in my own reflection, in the walk of following Jesus, the best description i can use to describe how it feels on an experience basis is a joyful crucible. It is a parody really. The meshing of joy and pain married together that we do not have enough words to convey meaning to this experience.
There is really true joy and peace that one experiences when one meets Jesus and seeks to walk faithfully with him. But another side of the coin is the constant tug of pain that a complicated spheres of life can dent the best disciple to probing questions filled with angst on how to develop a hopeful trust.
That is why the only ‘logical’ side of understanding life is the obedient outflow of meaningless obedience that would eventually be revealed and vindicated in Jesus in the Resurrection of our bodies.
As the experience of getting the tattoo above would depict it is a joyful crucible indeed.