John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

Slacker -- Trying to Follow Jesus

That's me. I'm a blog slacker -- at least this week I am! Since last we spoke I've been to Maryland, Pennsylvania and California. It's been quite a whirlwind tour, and I'm just now recuperating after having flown home last night. I will get back to my regular posting, but I've got lots of thoughts swirling around my brain right now.

I did a parenting seminar last weekend. I hadn't done one in several months, so I was a little nervous about presenting the material. I even changed one of the sessions around completely. But it all came back to me. I was exhausted afterwards and realized just how out of shape I've let myself become. I'll be hitting the gym more regularly from now on.

I spent a lot of time out in Gettysburg, PA. I walked around the battlefield, the cemetery on the hill, some museums and a church. Remind me to tell you about the church; it sparked a lot of emotion and thought.

I flew out to California to meet the launch team for River Park Community Church. I also got to see some old friends, tour some potential schools for the girls and see the house we'll be renting for the foreseeable future. I'm so excited about this new chapter of our lives. But there are times when I am scared out of my wits! I wonder, "What in the world am I doing? What gave me the impression that this would be a good idea?"

I'm sure this will be a near-constant back-and-forth in my head for a while. But I am convinced that God is in the middle of all this. Here's some of what I told the launch team Sunday night:

I used to have this idea that following God would get easier as I got older. I thought that one day I would finally surrender to such an extent that it would be like Jesus was driving my car. I would sit in the passenger seat and wave at all my friends as we drove past. I could enjoy the scenery while Jesus made all the decisions for me and my car.

But I've learned as I get older that Jesus -- who, as I have said before, is the most frustrating person I've ever met -- asks me to do something much more difficult. He doesn't say, "Let me drive." He comes and says, "Follow me."

He doesn't even really give me good directions. He's less interested in giving me guidance than he is in being my Guide.

So, we're trying to follow Jesus. We don't have much of a map. We have a general idea of where we're going, but we're mostly just trying to stay as close to his back bumper as we can right now. And when we finally get where we're going, we'll know we couldn't have done this on our own. The only way we'll get where we need to go is by paying attention to the guy in front of us.

That's where we are right now. We're on high alert. He could make a hard right at any moment. He doesn't always feel the need to use his turn signals. We may have to run a few yellow lights to keep up. We may have to make a U-Turn and find him again. But that's what we're doing.

Pray for us. Support us financially if you can. And let us know how we can help you follow Jesus more closely in the next chapter of your life.