In his book, “The Disciplined Life”, author Calvin Miller says that most people view Christianity as a giant brake pedal whereas in reality it should be seen as a steering wheel. I love the analogy. So many people, including far too many Christians, think the way to follow Christ is to stop doing various activities. Traditionally the church has spoken out against things like smoking, drinking, dancing, movies, rock music, certain dress and hair styles, tattoos, and on and on. If we only stop or avoid doing certain things, we will be more Godly; or so goes the prevailing wisdom.
Where did we get the idea that following Jesus was a series of dull days to be repeated ad nauseam? Anyone who has taken even the slightest amount of time to study the Scriptures can see that Jesus lived a life that was anything but boring or mundane. During the years of His ministry, Jesus travelled extensively, attended many parties, taught large public seminars, went sailing, entertained many important and high ranking social and political figures, experienced considerable popularity, rescued people from hostile crowds, and publicly stumped the thought leaders of His day. Oh yes, He also did little things like walk across a lake without the aid of any flotation devices, cured diseases, raised people from the dead, reattached body parts without any medical equipment, and effortlessly multiplied food and wine on a massive scale.
What parts of the life of Jesus seemed to resemble hitting the brakes? No, Jesus was a steering wheel; He was always going places and had a definite destination in mind at all times. The life of Jesus was all about execution. He had a plan and He steered His way around every obstacle, taking time to stop and experience all the highlights along the way. No part of His life was about stopping certain activities. Jesus was a starter, not a stopper. He stirred things up. He moved forward in boldness and without fear. The mission was more important than His own security. He knew where He was going, and the only thing that never crossed His mind was to stop.
So why do we insist on living a life that is exactly opposite of the way that Jesus lived? If we are truly His disciples, we will choose to be a steering wheel and not a brake pedal. Living the life God envisioned for us is not about adhering to a list of “don’ts”. The teachings of Jesus centered on things we should start and keep doing, not on things we should stop doing. He taught us how to have an abundant life. Abundance means overflowing. A life spent braking will not be overflowing, but one spent driving towards new adventures will be more than full. Nothing is as exciting as waking each morning desperate to see in what ways you can further His Kingdom today. Get your foot off the brakes and start steering your life in ways that mimic the life of Christ. Live the adventurous life!