A blog by Josh Humbert
Do I look like the kinda dude who listens to Fifty Shades of Stupidity Or Whatever It’s Called? Seriously…If you know me at all, does that sound like me?
And yet….there I was, hearing the lamest excuse for “literature.” Lines that went something like this:
“My inner goddess was dancing. His voice was like caramel or something.”
This…..this became….popular?? For real? America, please check yourself because you may, in fact, wreck yourself.
Perhaps I should clarify….it wasn’t my CHOICE to be listening to that audiobook.
In preparation for weeks when I’ll be preaching multiple times, I love to take walks. The walks allow me to think about the messages I’m writing, to prayerfully meditate on the Scriptures, and be quiet before God. I don’t queue up a playlist or podcast…what I love is the quietness of a Texas sunset to let my mind get clear. It’s a huge part of my spiritual preparation.
My spot is this high school track right near my house. Comfortable, spongy track. Usually not too crowded. Eight lanes across so easy navigation. That’s where I go.
Now, imagine my astonishment as I’m walking those laps the other night and I hear that 50 Shades junk about caramel voices and whatnot. This lady was walking and listening, rather loudly, to that audiobook. Not on headphones. No, this was on a speaker system she was carrying.
I don’t have an “inner goddess,” nor do I care to find out what that means, but I was caught off guard. That’s your ‘workout music’? You want that on blast, lady?
But what happened on last night’s walk was just as surprising….just in a much better way.
As I found myself on the track once again, I notice two guys start to take laps. One guy was obviously in very good shape and seemed to be coaching his buddy along.
This appeared to be prep work for an upcoming PT test for an armed forces candidate. The coaching guy told the other about the miles and timed elements he would be facing. And at first, it seemed to be rather standard stuff as the in-shape guy was just giving general encouragement:
“Let’s go, get this lap faster.”
“Pick it up, you’re almost there.”
“Faster, c’mon, you can do it.”
But then I noticed a distinct change in the orders and intensity from the guy who was coaching. It went from the standard bro-talk you can hear in any gym to a whole other category:
“FASTER, You’re team needs AMMO!”
“You CAN’T be slow right now! They’re watching YOU!”
“BE the DIFFERENCE for your team right now!”
This guy wasn’t just preparing his buddy for a PT test…he was readying him for battle.
I got chills just listening to him bark out those orders to his friend. This was the forging of a US soldier. Not just to complete the physical requirements of the job, but to sustain excellence on the field of battle. America, guys like this are worth your respect and attention. Christian Grey? Hey….you’re gonna need to miss me with that nonsense.
And it hit me: this was a perfect example of Biblical discipleship.
One guy passing on knowledge, truth, passion, and encouragement to another. Meeting them at their level and imparting what will truly matter and why it will matter. Calling them to rise to new levels. Appropriate urgency for what deserves it. Helping them see down the road to a glimpse of the future. Personal investment.
This guy had taken it upon himself to see a buddy transform into something greater, something better. This guy saw the possibility of WHO his buddy could become. He was personally trying his best to see it through.
That’s so awesome.
And it’s what is so needed in our churches today.
So I ask you (and myself) the simple questions.
There’s about a thousand books on discipleship and you can find it stated way more eloquently that my stupid words, but it really boils down to those two simple questions.
So I propose this: go take a walk. Leave the iphone at home. Don’t put the ear buds in. Go take a walk in a quiet place. Take laps and pray. Think on these questions. Consider the people in your life. Who are the “answers” to these questions?
Let’s not settle for just normalcy or comfort. There ARE battles up ahead for you. There ARE big decisions ahead for those around you. Do the good work now. Prepare them. Prepare yourself.
2 Timothy 2:1-3
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
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