Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dare to Explore

To explore is "Ttravel in or through an unfamiliar country or area in order to learn about or familiarize oneself with it."
When I was a child one of my dreams was to become an explorer. My son inherited this dream - wanting to be like Indiana Jones. 
While we did not make it, we did live vicariously  through TV and movies with Captain James T. Kirk of Star Trek with its five year mission, "to boldly go where no man has gone before." We saw all of the "Indiana Jones" movie franchise. 

In 1993, a real life explorer and adventurer came into my office and sat down across my desk. Colonel Norman Vaughn had been the dog team leader of Admiral Byrd's expedition to Antarctica in 1928-1930. In 1930, admiral Byrd named Mt Vaughn after his musher. For sixty five years Vaughn wanted to go back. He told me of his plans to climb his namesake 10,302 ft mountain (MT Vaughn) - a feat he completed completed in 1994 at the ripe old age of 88. The National Geographic Society film Height of Courage documented his training and the first attempt at the summit. It would take three separate attempts before he reached the peak. In a 1998 interview Vaughn told NPR's Peter Breslow, "I have failed a lot of times, but when I fail, I try to come back and get a better way of doing the same thing. His desire to go back to the peak on his 100th birthday failed for lack of funding.

In this day and age with all of our electronic devices and social media, it is too easy to sit in our recliner and explore the world through technology. Unfortunately, we will miss out on the real exploration excitement, discovering for ourselves new worlds and new areas of life. We can watch an great football game, but that is nothing like being down on the field actually playing in the game. We can watch a traveler in foreign lands but that is nowhere as fine as being there, smelling the flowers, tasting the food, or meeting the people.

It is time to get out of our comfort zone and head to the end zone.

  • God called Abraham to leave his comfortable home in the city of Ur, to travel to a place he had never been. Abraham went willingly.
  • He called Moses - who had settled down in the backside of the desert - to leave his comfort zone to lead God's people to the promised land. Moses was a little reluctant, but went in obedience.
  • God called Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach to the enemies of the Jews. Instead he ran the other way. 

Jesus called a group of fishermen, tax collectors, and ordinary men to become extraordinary explorers traveling through unfamiliar countries to transform the world. 

God is calling ordinary people just like you into a new adventure.  

Matthew 4:18-20 (NKJV) And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

Jesus is calling you:
  • But I am only ordinary.  He uses ordinary people. - Jesus first wants a relationship.- "FOLLOW ME"
  • But, I do not know what to do. It is not about doing, it is about becoming. Jesus said that He would change you."I WILL MAKE YOU...." We will not JUST learn how to love our neighbor,  We will become lovers of all people. Rather than doing good things, we will become good people.

Will you become an explorer or an armchair quarterback? 

How will you respond? 

  • Like Abraham and leave on the great adventure?
  • Like Moses, reluctantly but willingly?
  • Like Jonah, run the other way?
  • or like Peter and Andrew - enter into a close relationship with God and follow Him wherever He leads?
Please feel free to comment.

Bill Johnson