September 2, 2014
Acts 16:36-41 (in context)
Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.
One of the things I’ve discovered is the life changing practice of taking others along on the journey with you. From my earliest days in life, my Father loaded me up in the truck, often along with my sisters, and took us along on the journey of farming. I remember many times as a boy when my parents took me along on the journey to visit an elderly person who was a “shut-in” and take them the Lord’s Supper. My Father often took me along on the journey when he went to the homes of grieving friends who had lost a loved one.
Though I didn’t realize it at the time, those were some of the most important learning moments of my life. I could scarcely articulate what I learned on those journeys. I could only teach it to someone by taking them along on the journey.
I will be forever grateful for people like Jim Hightower and Maxie Dunnam and Paul Baddour who took me along for the journey at critical points in my life. When someone takes us along on the journey we go to places we never would have found on our own and we become people we never would have become but for those journeys.
One of my closest friends today is a man by the name of Mark Benjamin. I mentored Mark for several years through his time in seminary and beyond. I suppose I still mentor him now, yet at many points I find he also mentors me. (That’s how the journey works)
It pleased me when Mark recently invited our oldest son, David, (14) to go along on the journey with him and another leader on a mission to Haiti later this fall. Missing a week of school pales in comparison to what will be learned along the way on that journey.
Isn’t that what Jesus did? He took twelve along for the journey. Isn’t that what discipleship really is? The relationship between Paul and Timothy still teaches us after two thousand years. Their seemingly ordinary relationship made history. These kinds of relationships always do, whether the history gets recorded or not.
How about you? Who has taken you along for the journey? Who have you taken along for the journey? Who might you take along for the journey in the days ahead?
COME HOLY SPIRIT!
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