Have you ever gone exploring? ex plore /ik’splor/ v. travel in or through an area in order learn about or familiarize oneself with it.
I have explored the winding banks of the Washita River and Cache Creek; I have wandered down meandering cow paths and crawled through a thousand barbed-wire fences on my way to nowhere. Daniel Boone had “Tick-Licker” and Davy Crockett carried “`ol Betsy”— I carried Ole Stickie. You won’t find a lot of tigers or lions or bears around Apache, Oklahoma anymore. I killed `em all. I supposed I had hunted them to extinction by the time I was 11 or 12 years old. I did a lot of exploring by then.
The neighborhood boys had a favorite place to play called The Canyon. In reality it was only a 200 yard stretch of ditch. It was about fifteen or twenty feet deep and maybe fifteen feet wide. When you’re a kid, a place like that is a canyon. One end of the canyon became a dumping ground for old cars. The canyon held quite a number of autos that were piled on top of each other, and the pile created a network of passages that little boys could crawl through. I can still remember the smell of the musty, rotting fabric from the car seats. It was dark down in the bottom of this stack of cars, but not too dark.
No parent today would ever allow a kid to have that kind of adventure. But hey! We were just doing what we were supposed to be doing, playing outside. (An advantage of growing up in a small town in the 1960’s, we would leave and be gone for hours, sometimes drifting a couple miles from home. Mom didn’t worry, we were in a community.)
The Topic: Go Exploring – N.T. Wright suggests that we should explore four areas of our inner life in order to more fully understand and experience the Christian life.
1) Our longing for justice;
2) Our quest for spirituality;
3) Our hunger for relationships;
4) Our delight in beauty.
Justice: I’m certain that we want justice in the world. We want earthly matters to be put-to-right. We would like for things on the playground to “be fair” too. As we study the life of Jesus, we see that so much of His work is pointing out the difference between the values of God’s Kingdom and and the values of worldly authorities (governments and religious leaders). Jesus is in the business of putting things to right. I want to explore more about my role in joining Christ to seek justice and just-ness.
Spiritulality: The goals of secularization seem to be set on quenching the quest for spirituality. Too many weird things happen with people in that quest and too many impractical “isms” are born there. How many ways are there to be spiritual? Jesus offers the way that is both practical and true.
Relationships: How many books have been written about relationships? Religion is that concern with vertical relationship and the horizontal relationship is how we find one another. It’s always great to allow Jesus to lead us in the How Department of relationships.
Beauty: My wife loves sunsets. She adores them like no person I have ever known. She is gifted in her ability to see beauty in the things we have going on most each and every day. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If that is true, it is true because Jesus addresses it in His words, “the lamp of the body is the eye, when your eye is good, your whole body will be filled with light.” (Matthew 6:22).
It’s important to study the Bible. Go exploring from time to time. Explore your inner life. Get yourself a coffee or a beverage of your choice. Open your Bible and read the words of Jesus. It is a wonderful adventure.
The most wonderful thing about the Living Word, is that you can seek to understand the Scriptures, and be amazed, because the Scriptures understand you.