We’re talking about Bonhoeffer’s claim that “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
Yesterday I hoped to remind you that this stuff is hard. It’s not easy.
But I also said it can be simple.
Try being present.
I was putting the garbage out Thursday morning. I was strolling back up my drive way and heard “HEY PHIL!”
It was a member of my baseball team walking back from dropping their kid off at school. Thursday night was our first game of the year (I went 4/4). We chatted about car pooling.
I got in my car and was struck by the idea of how our presence impacts our ability to relate.
I was able to connect because I was present. I inadvertently put myself in a spot where I was able to be connected with. I was available.
I think often, but still struggle with actually doing, that I should be more like my neighbour. My neighbours spend loads of time in their front yard. It’s more out of the norm I think to come home in the summer and not see them out front.
As a result he knows EVERYONE and I think a big part of it is that he’s present.
If you walk your dog in our neighbourhood you’re bound to walk by him a few times a week.
Coming and going from baseball? He’s there.
How does all this tie to dying to yourself?
It’s about intent and purpose. Purpose yourself to be available this weekend. Let go of your goals and be available for relationship.
Sit on your porch even though you know you need to vacuum. Work at cleaning your garage with the door open so you can engage with your community as it passes by. Set up a fee lemonade/coffee/hotdog stand and see who stops by.
Spend the weekend with people as the centre and not all the ‘other’ stuff that you need to do but pulls you away from community and makes you unavailable. It’ll all be there when you get time next week.
And if that will eat you up inside, maybe that’s the death you’re called to this weekend.