But how can I know Him? Knowing is a slippery thing; hard to understand and hard to define. Even those we think we know regularly surprise us. Think about someone you know, when did the relationship change from knowing of them to just knowing them? How does an acquaintance become a friend? It is a mystery to me.
I think the verse itself gives some significant clues about knowing. First, that suffering together is one of the truest forms of fellowship. Second, you must share experiences, either by physically being there with the other person or through them by communication. Third, you become like those you know, in the oddest ways. It is impossible to know Jesus apart from the power that raised Him from the dead, or without sharing in His suffering, or without becoming like Him in His death. None of these things can be separated.
I want to live a life of Adventure and I am convinced that He is The Adventure. The dictionary defines it this way, “Adventure: a bold, usually risky undertaking; a hazardous action of uncertain outcome.” What I’ve dreamt of was a risk worth taking. What I’ve waken to is that Jesus is worth risking everything for.
I want to experience every moment of my life with Him. I want to see everything through His eyes. I want to see how He acts as He walks through my life. I want to rely on Him alone. When I suffer, I’ll do it with Him. I want to be the pitcher that His life giving power is poured from. I am convinced that He is already making me like Him in His death.
I’ve realized that my goal cannot be defeated by circumstances or time. Most circumstances are outside of my control and many are not what I would have chosen. Thankfully, all those things I cannot control Jesus is controlling.
This takes a lot of pressure off of what most people would call my ‘life choices’. Whether or not I have a job, a car, a lover, friends, health, or a college degree does not affect my goal. Whether or not I trust Jesus is all that will.
Sadly, I do still have to make basic choices for my life and I only wish that I could state that I don’t constantly agonize over them. If my only goal is to know Him then how do I choose what to do with today?
I will choose boldly, courageously, by faith, and by a different standard than the world uses. I will not choose practically, because God is rarely practical according to human judgment. Many things I thought were frivolous He has revealed to be necessary and many things I thought were practical, He has proven to be useless.
I am afraid when I think about the standard He is telling me to choose by. The Life inside me compels me to continue bravely. I will choose soberly, but I will not choose fearfully.
I will not be concerned by my inadequacy because I no longer live but Christ lives in me. I will not be alarmed by what is bigger than me because I want to experience that nothing is bigger than Him. I will not be anxious about the unknown because I want to experience the wonder and joy of trusting the Knower.
I will not dread physical limitations because I want to experience Jesus' healing. I will not fear pain because I want to suffer everything that He suffered and to know the Comforter. I will not be concerned by death because I want to see His face.
I will not be uncertain about my influence on those around me because I want to experience that His influence is greater. I will not be alarmed by the judgment of others because I want to experience that God’s good opinion is enough. I will not hesitate to love because I want to experience His love for me and through me.
I will not be uneasy about a lack of resources because I want to experience that Jesus owns everything and watch Him treat gold like concrete. I will not fret over mediocrity because I want to experience what Jesus experienced of the Father in the 30 nondescript years. I will not despise the mundane because I want to see Him turn it into a miracle.
I will not be alarmed by my weakness because I want to experience His power. I will not worry over my flaws because He tells me they're redeemed. I will not scorn failure because I want to experience that He never fails. I will not be startled by temptation because I want to experience His freedom.
I will hope because the Hero promised. I will search for beauty because I've seen the Beautiful One. I will give myself to those around me because I watched Him give everything, freely, for me. I will fight for goodness because I'm betrothed to a Warrior. I will cry when it hurts because I know the Man of Sorrows. I will boast of my trust, not because it is reliable but because the object of my trust is.
I cannot explain or justify my choices up to this date by any other standard than this. To my physical eye they appear haphazard, irresponsible, unreliable, moody, flighty, foolish, and a host of other negative and undesirable adjectives. If you judge them this way as well, I don’t blame you.
However, as far as God has revealed to me, I have followed Him obediently every unpredictable and ludicrous step of the way. My only hope is that the foolishness of God is wiser than men. If you disagree with the standard I make my choices by or don’t see my actions lining up with my words, I would appreciate your honesty on the subject. I would like the opportunity to change my mind according to new information or to agree to respectfully disagree.
If, on the other hand, what I have written here resounds with what God is growing in your mind, then be encouraged. You aren’t the only one.