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thursday swap – “first step” by vince

May 13, 2009

this weeks swap is from vince marotte at nikao

i havent met vince yet. brent has, and im hoping to have that honor someday as well. until then…i’ll just continue to get to know him through his writing. and its writing like his below that should get you to be regular at his place and you can read my post swap while youre there ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Have you ever tried to waterski or been on the boat while someone is in the water learning? Maybe it was wake boarding? The scene is always the same. In the boat you have nine people shouting instructions to poor rookie in the water: “bend your knees!” “keep your butt down!” “straighten your arms!” “bend your elbows!” “lean back!” “pretend someone is picking you up off the ground!” “close one eye!” Eventually someone finally gets it right: “Just let him figure it out!” Christians like to do the same thing. We love to hypothasize about how to be like Christ. We gather at Bible studies and tell each other how to live. What we should do is give each other the latitude and grace to ‘figure it out!’ Yes, tips help, but at the end of the day you just need to yell; ‘Hit it!’ and hang on for the ride.

“Yet whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.”

-Thomas Akempis

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2009 2:59 am

    Short and true.

  2. May 14, 2009 5:43 am

    SOooo… What happens to the whole “go make disciples, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you” ?

    I apologize if I have missed the point of this post.

    • May 14, 2009 6:35 am

      True. but eventually the new disciples will have to jump in too.

      • May 14, 2009 6:46 am

        No question they have to get in the water.

        Your metaphor doesn’t have the person in the boat – it has them in the water already. As one who has learned to water ski, I know I was thankful for some hints by those in the boat. I still had to ‘figure it out’ and take a lot of lake water up my nose in order to get to the point where I could stand and ski but it was much easier with instruction than without. Otherwise I would still be out there trying to pull myself up instead of letting the boat do it.

        I think the important thing is to know who to listen to. I listened to the one who had been where I was and had learned how to ski… they had knowledge from experience and practical knowledge of where I was.

        Not everyone in the boat had that same level of discernment.

        I am not trying to be nit-picky… I am just guarded against a social mentality that sings the song “Me and Jesus got our own thing going”.

        • May 14, 2009 6:53 am

          nit-picker.
          ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • May 14, 2009 8:48 am

          Interesting thoughts. Tony, I am glad you pointed this out. There is definitely merit to Vince’s post because our faith has to be our own and we are told in Philippians 2:12 that we are to work our our own salvation. BUT at the same time, we also need to be disciple makers and we need to coach people along. Listening to the right voice is a key point, Tony, very good observation.

  3. Heidi permalink
    May 14, 2009 6:25 am

    Sometimes you have to shut the outside “utterances” and just do it!! (hit it).

    Great post

  4. May 14, 2009 6:51 am

    “Close one eye!” <— despite the wisdoms you present in this post, i couldn’t help myself but to laugh out loud at that one!

    and YAY TAM for remembering to swap.

    • May 14, 2009 8:11 am

      i remembered because vince made me.

      vince rocks!

      • May 14, 2009 9:40 am

        My dad pastored a small church while I was growing up in my second childhood. There was a man whose mind had been wasted on drugs that would drop letters off to my dad from time-to-time. Most of the letters where just verbatim copies of the concordance found at the back of the bible.

        The others were a collection of odd sentences.. like these:

        “I twain myself in two.”

        “Sometimes I rock on the floor to save the furniture.”

        When I see the sentence “Vince rocks!” or fill in the name with anybody else’s, I imagine someone sitting on the floor hugging their knees and rocking… in order to save the furniture.

        My odd mind. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • May 14, 2009 9:52 am

          odd mind, indeed ๐Ÿ˜‰

          you know how hard its gonna be now for to refrain from all “rocks” comments?

          ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. May 14, 2009 11:02 am

    One of the most important parts of giving guidance is to get feedback at every step in the process. So many times training consist of just shouting out instructions. If the person you are training doesn’t demonstrate, in some manner, that they really understand, then it doesn’t make sense to go on until they can.

    If someone is new to an experience than most of the instruction, guidance, that everyone gives them is likely to go right over their heads, at least initially. For example if you are teaching someone about the ten commandments, you do it one commandment at a time. If they can’t completely understand, and accept, the first one. than it doesn’t make any sense to go on to the other nine.

    I think what the quote by Thomas Akempis is saying is that faith isn’t about receiving religious instructions, it is about learning how you should live. It is learning how to live by this guidance that’s important, not just understand what the words mean.

    Faith is also such a personal experience that untimately we must come to know it our own way, and time. It is not a secondhand experience that can be simply be taught.

    • May 15, 2009 9:45 pm

      DANG! This man is GOOD! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      And he’s still too humble to call himself a Christian – go figure? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Nice work Ed – keep on Rockin’ ๐Ÿ˜€

      <B

  6. May 14, 2009 12:26 pm

    sweet! could not agree more!

  7. May 14, 2009 11:14 pm

    i love this analogy. and I totally get what Tony is saying about the emphasis on personal relationships sometimes excluding the community. but i’ve had, at times, so many people in my life telling me how to do my life and my faith that it left me frozen rather than fired up. Too many people telling you the “right” way can make a person terrified of making a bad choice and doing it wrong.

    I think it’s great to have community support. And advice and tips are great help. But sooner or later, if you don’t say “hit it” you’ll be a prune sitting in the water rather than flying out of the wake with a feeling of freedom.

  8. May 15, 2009 10:11 pm

    A Quote of Thomas a Kempis? – Awesommmmmme!

    (i have his book ‘The Imitation of Christ’) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    The Bible gives us little in the way of knowing exactly how Christ was educated or instructed, other than to tell us He was at a very early age to be found in places of religious worship, presumably listening to those ‘in the Boat’ – some of whom might have even once been in the water first! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    What is clear – at least to me – is that He was UNbelievably gifted in understanding and knowing the Will of His Father – a real ‘Natural’ Skier who needed little in the way of Tips.

    So – do you TRULY believe the rest of us wannabe’s are anywhere up to His ‘standard’ there.

    Did Jesus give things like His Sermon on the Mount to thousands? or did he tell them: ‘Just Yell “Hit It!” and hang on for dear Life??

    Many of us desperately NEED a little good instruction, at least to get us to ‘start’ in the Right Direction, or for course correction – He left 12 to continue that work – where are their descendants today?

    And can they PROVE it??

    Maybe we should also say less and listen and consider more until our prowess on skis approaches a professional standard?

    Especially when we’re getting dragged behind a powerful force on a mass of water that can often be swallowed forcefully by mistake rather than let us slide gracefully across it??

    <B

  9. May 15, 2009 10:59 pm

    Ggggrrrrrrrrreeeeaaat!!!!!

    ;D

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