I used to work at a summer camp. No one can live there.
We filled the week with activities that kept the kids going from breakfast till bedtime. Each activity was designed to convey some biblical truth, or provide a fun way to wear them out. Where do kids get all that energy? The evening services would have made any revivalist proud. Emotions ran high and the children were challenged with the gospel message that Jesus died for them. After the evening meeting, there was time for snacks, and hopefully a wind-down where their counselors could really get serious with them in small groups or personal ministry.
This of course all culminated with the final night’s meeting and the dismissal service the following morning. The emotion and activity of the week coupled with being in a strange environment and now saying goodbye to new friends often overwhelmed them. To some that week was the highlight of their life. Every so often I hear from someone who remembers their time there with fondness. Memories are good.
Discipleship is not a summer camp. We are called to live here.
No one can live in an emotional or spiritual high, nor should we try. Following Jesus is about walking around in the dust of this earth. The kind of dust and dirt that He understands and washes from our weary feet. Discipleship is about us dealing with the hurt and struggles of this broken world, our own and those who journey with us. We are not perfect; we carry our broken hearts and bad habits and we try, if we are really disciples, to submit to the healing hands of the Lamb Who Was Slain. A skillful Physician, He firmly and lovingly cuts away the remnants of our life without Him and shapes His image in our being as we lay bare our souls before Him. His work in us, which is to be passed on to others, causes us to glory in His grace and love and marvel in Him.
A commitment to follow Jesus as a disciple is not a series of orchestrated emotional responses. It is, in good or bad, the home of our soul. It is where we live.