Apprenticed to Following Jesus

My meditation.

My current meditation.

Earlier today, I was telling Jesus that I scarcely know how to talk about what he has come to mean to me. Thirteen years ago, I asked God to teach me what Jesus has to do with me, and that prayer started me on a very intentional, though often difficult and painful journey into the life and faith I currently hold: one that is awestruck, dumbstruck, and lovestruck by Jesus and utterly helpless without him.

I don't quite know how to articulate this in all its fullness without writing out the complete story in its entirety, which would literally take hundreds of pages.

Since that is not possible here, I'm left feeling quite inadequate in all my articulation. I feel a bit like Zechariah, gesticulating wildly to a reality so utterly beyond all comprehension and all speech, looking in the end like a fool to those trying to understand his gesticulations (although I hope my wild gesticulations and paltry articulations are not to do with any lack of faith on my part, which was the case with Zechariah!).

Do you love Me?

So my prayer this morning was that Jesus would help me to simply see and hear and follow him.

If he wants me to speak or write about him, my prayer is that he will give me the words. If he wants me to teach about him, my prayer is that he will help me to compose a structured experience that is fitting for the students and is worthy of him. If he wants me to step out in some new way, my prayer is that I will step only in the direction he leads.

I am learning in a very new, intent way right now what it means to follow Jesus. 

For instance, he's been asking me questions like, "Do you love me more than these?" Or when I point in this or that direction, he then asks me, "What is that to you?" And then he says again and again, "You -- follow me." 

Bright sky.

In this, I'm reminded of what happened to Peter, James, and John when Jesus took them into the mountains on the day of his Transfiguration. There, they saw Jesus enfoldeded in a great light and talking with Moses and Elijah. They hardly knew what to make of it, and Peter, overwhelmed and confused by all of it, began suggesting things to do, like building monuments to the three of them.

But then a great cloud overshadowed them all, and they heard a voice from heaven calling Jesus the beloved son. The next moment, they looked around and saw "nothing but Jesus, only Jesus." 

I want only to see Jesus, too. I want only to follow him where he may lead. And it is my prayer that he gives me the eyes to see and the ears to hear him when he tells me what to do and where to go. May he teach me to "take not a single step without him, and to follow with a brave heart wherever he leads."