Hang-en cave

Hang-en cave
(credit: National Geographic)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I've been spending some time with the story of Peter walking on water lately, imagining myself as one of the disciples on the ship. Watching my Lord walking on water with a mix of awe and confusion at the impossibility of it all. Not understanding but believing and trusting.

Joy as Peter steps out of the boat and finds himself standing, walking towards Christ, then a wave of jealousy that it wasn't me--I wasn't the one called, and I wasn't the one who responded--and finally relief that I get to stay in the boat, in my safe place still governed by the known laws of physics.

It's so easy to stay in the safe and the known. It's peaceful, because we know what to expect. But should that be the litmus test for what we should do? In the discernment process, I've been told to follow peace. Peace is of God, and peace will lead us to God. For some people, that might very well be true--there have certainly been a few times where I know that I've been just hit with that divine peace.

But for the most part, God's will is terrifying. Lead everyone you know into the desert. Have a baby, maybe the child of God. Step out of the boat. Die on a cross.

God's people are incredible in what they've done, and by all rights absolutely insane. Following the will of God seems less like chasing peace and more like jumping off a cliff without a parachute...and praying to high heaven that He'll be at the bottom.

There's a reason it's called a leap of faith.

And that landing? Man, there's nothing like it. When you land, you've done something amazing, something good, true, beautiful, that you've never thought possible. You've had an adventure.

I've got a few adventures lined up this summer. I'm going back to China with 14 students--that's not as scary this year as it was last year. I've been teaching a class on public health in China for them since spring break, and we've had a lot of really good discussion. Today was particularly interesting--what makes something Western medicine, and what makes something traditional Chinese medicine? What's the line, the objective definition? It's going to be something interesting to ponder.

The really scary adventure is moving to Denver. I've always had my safety net back in Wisconsin. Now I'm uprooting and taking my entire life to a city 1000 miles away, where I've spent maybe a week in total and I know all of two people...and I hate big life changes. Ho boy.


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