Sunday’s Scripture ~ Mark 1:16-20.
An often quoted African Proverb says,
If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.
I am the kind of person that wants to go far…but it is sometimes hard for me to ask for someone to go together with me.
It takes courage to ask for help. It takes courage to forage a new path or to return to a well known trail with fresh eyes and perspective. It takes courage to share a vision for what you want to accomplish, for what change you want to make, for who you want to be.
Why does it take courage? Because there is risk involved.
- Risk that you or your idea will be rejected.
- Risk that you will make a mistake.
- Risk that you will embarrass yourself.
- Or possibly the worst – risk that you will fail.
I, for one, prefer to limit the witnesses to my rejection, mistakes, embarrassments, and failures.
While being all alone might temporarily shield me from public awareness of my shortcomings, being all alone also means that I stew longer in my own mess without any one there to offer comfort or encouragement.
I believe this is one of the reasons that Jesus encouraged the disciples to be in partnership with one another and others in the growing Kingdom. Jesus knew what they were risking as they served! Jesus knew they would experience hardship and discouragement. Jesus knew they would experience rejection and so he said to them, “‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.’ So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them” (Mk 6:10-13).
That they – the disciples – went out together – in Jesus’ name and carrying forward God’s preferred future for the world – ensured that they would and did go far.
Are you someone that wants to go fast or far? With whom are you traveling? How have you been encouraged and offered encouragement? What vision is God raising up in you to share with someone? What risk do you face in sharing this vision? What do you risk in not sharing this vision?
Prayer: “I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee, but they would not dance and they would not follow me; I danced for the fishermen, for James and John; they came to me and the dance went on. Dance, then, wherever you may be; I am the Lord of the Dance, said he. And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be, and I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.”* Amen.
*”Lord of the Dance,” The United Methodist Hymnal 261.