Friday, December 19, 2008

An Explanation Is In Order

Why the title? Because anything else would be stupid and petty, invoking images of some “emo” adolescent male wearing eyeliner and a scarf year round – and scowling.

I neither wear eye liner or own a scarf, and only scowl when it’s considered relatively appropriate.

This is, like a million other blogs, a web log of my daily or near-daily social interactions, thoughts, experiences, conversations, and frustrations. Some days, like life, are just plain boring. Others are a barrage of excitement so terribly confusing that only a small portion is remembered. My intention is to write in it regularly. I enjoy writing, wish to better my skill, and hopefully stir others’ hearts as well.

What makes this particular blog somewhat less mundane is that it is an account of the day-to-day with Jesus invited along. Overtly so. Not to suggest that I’m wearing a sandwich board announcing, “repent or die,” or stalking up to people and asking them if they’re saved. Nobody likes such interrogations. I sure don’t. Only few people employ such a witness. I, at least for now, do not feel called to do so.

The invitation to Jesus is a personal one – meaning that I will go about my daily affairs, whatever those may be, but having specifically invited Jesus to go with me. His presence changes my heart, redeems my thoughts, and certainly influences what I will say and do – more frequently influencing what I do NOT say and do.

I use the name Jesus for a specific reason. In the past, in fact at the start of my previous blog, I simply said, “God.” It sounded more sophisticated. Sometimes I will use the name “Christ.” While all are certainly true, I found there was a childlike foolishness to using the name “Jesus.” I was almost ashamed to say it. Perhaps if I write “Christ” instead, people might think I’m somewhat intellectual or at least marginally intelligent. But wait, we are to be “fools for Christ,” so it’s fitting. There is no place for pride in faith, especially when I have described my own personal walk as a desperate and hopeful clinging to the hem of His garment. Pride, in fact, is an obstacle to my faith. I am slowly learning not to consider others my audience, but instead Jesus. I have far yet to go. Nevertheless, I will choose the name Jesus, regardless of how others might view it or view me. If I am ashamed to defend Him before others, why should He bother to defend and intercede for me when I am before the throne of judgment? I choose Jesus.

This being said, I have now explained the SUBTITLE for the blog. The title itself still remains.

The title, “go where i will show you,” is also a continuation of my last blog. Life, I am learning, is not some scripted set of events that will fall into place exactly as you wish. In fact, it rarely, if ever, does. It’s a simple matter of moving forward. Going. God told Abram to “go to the land where I will show you.” He didn’t say where until sometime AFTER He said go.

And in all honesty, I don’t think the “where” is particularly important to me at the moment. What is far more significant is that I invite Jesus. Put differently, I am simply going (living life), and inviting Jesus to join me.

Clearly, that invitation and His subsequent presence will certainly dictate (at least in part) just where I go and what I do, but I will permit those matter to take care of themselves, or perhaps God will take care of them.

St. Francis of Assisi said that we should, “love God, and do whatever we want.” In my case, I am going wherever I want (within reason), and inviting Jesus to join me.

The Christian walk is not a series of good things to do. Great acts of service, almsgiving, or any of the veritable host of kind and generous things that typify modern understandings of faith. It is a relationship to be fostered with Christ Himself. Not good acts to perform in order to win favor. We are never good enough, so why bother? Instead, pursue the relationship, and the rest will take care of itself in proper timing. Just as in marriage, pursue your spouse with fervor, and the rest will care for itself. Am I saying that the love relationship I am pursuing with Jesus is like that in a marriage? Yes. The church (collectively the body of believers, not a physical structure or single denomination), are Biblically referred to as the “bride of Christ.” Interesting.

If I were to wax philosophically about faith, it would bore people. I can only say so much. I don’t like being preached to, so I will not do it to others. I will certainly share my faith on this blog, but that’s because it holds infinite importance to me. But I don’t traipse around all day long thinking about my faith and about Jesus walking with me. The fact is, I think about such things terribly infrequently. I get distracted. Nevertheless, it’s important, and I will bring it up from time to time.

The posts that will comprise this blog will mainly be posts about what’s going on in my life – whether these be struggles, triumphs, or even the mundane. In many cases, this will be a boring read. And knowing this, I will make every effort to write instead about what’s interesting, to me and others. And that is people.

Unless I lock myself in the basement and never venture out, I am going to run into some of them. Chances are, I will have some decent conversations, too. And a few of those will be worth writing about. In short, I will continue doing in this blog what I most enjoyed doing in the last – introducing America to Americans, and living an adventure along the way.

It may be travels, or it may be at the gas station a mere four miles down the road. The location is irrelevant. The result will be that I, and others, will grow to have a natural interest and care in people from all walks of life, scattered far and wide across the country. Our neighbors are no longer the people in the houses to our right and left; they are anybody you know and care about. If I can introduce a few of them here, then I have accomplished what I believe is a noble goal.

Knowing strangers’ stories stirs my heart, and will undoubtedly stir still others as I have the honor of introducing them to whomever reads this blog. Besides this, they are then no longer strangers, but Americans with names, faces, and fascinating tales of how they ended up where they are. I am excited about who I will meet – and hopeful that others will enjoy meeting them just as much.

I’m just going, basically, and inviting Jesus to go with me. The rest will work itself out in time. I cannot predict the future, and have given up trying. But I have my orders – GO – so I will do just that, and also invite YOU to go with me. There is much we can learn – about ourselves, about others, and about Jesus.

Copyright © 2008, Ben Shaw
All Rights Reserved


  1. My favorite line in this post was "I can only say so much."

    We shall see.

  2. I am not a theologian. However it seems to me that there are some difficult to explain parts to this post. First, Jeasus is God. It is written. However, if you are going to quote Abraham...from the old testement, you are going to have to reconcile the "God of Abraham" which includes the Jews and Arabs. Or you could adopt the stance of my mother, who only read the New Testement. She said the old testament, which comprised about two thirds of the Bible, was only intended to demonstrate that man can not enter the kingdom of heaven except through Jesus.

    I have no dog in this fight, but it is confusing at best. Esoteric at worst, and self indulgence without question. Where are you preaching tomorrow? I will make every attempt to be there.

  3. Perhaps avoiding confusion is why God refers to Himself as "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob"?