#13/365 – Can you follow TOO close?

Travelling from Wellington to Auckland and this was all I saw for a whole day!!!
Travelling from Wellington to Auckland and this was all I saw for a whole day!!!

All day today I followed campervans and trucks… so much so that I started going mildly mad… although that could be a result from spending way too much time alone in the car over the last few days… I was going home and abso-bloomin-lutely super excited about seeing Christine and Emily… that could have been it – a bit over-excited… well anyways…

I had lots to think about in the car today and that makes a nice change… I was listening to Life FM this morning and they were talking about the debate in the media about a Tui Billboard which said basically… “Let’s take a moment this Christmas to think about Christ… YEAH RIGHT!” They were describing a multitude of reactions to the message, some for, some against and I was a bit concerned really… I think we are in danger of modelling a REALLY INSECURE saviour to the world… one that will jump down your throat if you don’t think the same things as him… Now… my reading of the Gospels NEVER shows me an insecure Jesus…

Many years ago I was a Youth Pastor at Greenlane Christian Centre in Auckland. For a time, they were very well known for putting banners up for the traffic along the motorway to see and many of them were funny… there was the “FRESH START, it’s got to be GOD for you” banner… and a couple that I came up with made it on there as well – “NO BULL, HE GIVES YOU WINGS” with associated crossed-out bull and then I actually came up with a TUI Ad parody which said “THERE IS NO GOD – YEAH RIGHT”… this was very well received and Tui even got in on the act and came up with another one for Greenlane to use… my point is pretty simple – when we as a church made a statement similar to what Tui has made this Christmas… it wasn’t destroyed or attacked, as it was seen in it’s proper context… I heard that the Tui spokesperson was stating that they were hoping to make the statement that the meaning of Christmas has been lost – which IF TRUE is very noble of them – but I think a good ole bunch of controversy probably gives a fair whack of additional publicity which I am sure they weren’t entirely unaware of… They won’t be upset if a few more cases of Tui get into people’s chiller at Christmas time!!!

It is very hard to navigate a road if you follow the car in front of you too closely… you can’t allow for unseen hazards, or for changes in direction – you need to be following close enough so you can keep them in your sights, but far enough away so they can lead you around any obstacles or changes in the road… only a fool breaks the two second rule! Maybe we need some kind of ‘two-second-rule’ in our faith life… something that means that we follow at a ‘correct’ distance… not SO close that we are entirely consumed by big issues and agendas, but not so distant that we lose sight of the one that is guiding us!!!

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