This has the potential to be really long, but I don't have time for that today, and I'm sure you don't either. So, I will keep it short and simple...err...I'll try anyway.
Being a follower of Christ is easy. And, its hard.
I was six years old when I asked Jesus to live in my heart and wash away all my sins. I remember it very clearly. I also remember being 12, and deciding it wasn't enough anymore to just have Him in my heart, washing away my sins. I wanted to know Him more, and hear Him speak to me, and understand His Word, and live a life that was pleasing to him. Those desires came from a childhood of watching my parents model for me what Christianity should look like.
My parents have different stories. My dad grew up in a Baptist preacher's home, and also got saved as a boy, but he had what he would call "a wild youth," followed by a rocky divorce between his parents when he was in college. By then he has reformed his wild ways, though, and had met my mom, and if you know my dad now, you know him as one of the most deeply rooted men of God you've ever known.
My mom did not grow up in a Christian home. Her parents didn't take her to church, and they didn't tell her about Jesus, and they didn't model a life that is devoted to Christ for her to see and desire for herself. No, she was invited to church by a friend from high school. And she went, and she accepted Jesus as her savior, and she began inviting her parents and siblings to church. And if you know her now, you know that the rest is history. She models for everyone around her a life lived to serve her Lord.
So, how did two people, from such different upbringings, manage to make such an impression on their own child that she wanted to have exactly the same kind of relationship with the Lord that they had?
It was easy. And it was hard.
It wasn't a prayer they prayed and then that was it. It wasn't a long drawn out ritual of purging their life of every single thing that didn't have Jesus written on it.
It was, it is, a walk. It's a journey. Its putting one foot in front of another, and it's knowing that sometimes you can't walk, you have to crawl. And sometimes you have to be still. And sometimes you stumble, and sometimes you take steps the wrong direction. And a lot of times it feels like you're hurtling along with no idea where you are going or if you're even on the right path.
It's screwing up. It's reconciling. It's messy. It's whiter than snow.
Its the ultimate sacrifice. It's the deepest depths of love.
Walking with Christ will require nothing from you except your willingness to accept Him.
Walking with Christ will require every single ounce of your life.
The Real Story about Christianity is this : it looks different for everyone, and it looks the same. And no matter how bad anyone thinks they have been in their life, the blood of Jesus is thicker, and covers it all. And no matter how good someone thinks they have been in their life, their sin is black enough to require the same blood, covering over it all.
And there are days when a walk with God looks a lot more like a stroll off a cliff wearing a blindfold. And days when it resembles an opossum playing dead in the road. There are days filled with laughter and peace and blissful joy. There are days when we doubt...there are plenty of days of doubt. And there are days filled with relief and forgiveness and thanksgiving and reconciliation.
The point is...to walk.
Fail. Succeed. Keep trying. Cry. Scream. Laugh. Dance. Forgive, because you have been forgiven.
***The Real Story about Christianity isn't our story at all.***
It's the story of a love so powerful, so overwhelming, so all consuming, that it couldn't do nothing while we drifted away. Love had to ACT.
And if that Love lives in you, then it will compel you to act as well.
It will be simple. It will be impossible.
LOVE tells His story through your life.
That's what Christianity should look like. That's the Real Story.