Rediscovering Joy this Easter Bear Grylls - 4 Apr 2012
"Jesus wants his children to have more fun; I am sure of it. He wants us to enjoy him, now, in the moment..."
Last Easter we had the privilege of posting this feature written by Bear Grylls especially for 24-7 Prayer.
Bear is an adventurer known to 1.2 billion people for his Man Versus Wild television series, and Chief Scout to 28 million Scouts worldwide. We received such an incredible response that we've decided to re-post it.
We all worry so much: about yesterday; about today; about tomorrow. But Jesus wants us to love him and enjoy him - now. "Cast your burdens onto Jesus for he loves you..."(1 Peter 5:7).
Sure, we want to change the world and lead friends to Christ; to be effective, to be successful. But the way to do all this is to keep close to Jesus. To nestle, not wrestle: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God..and all these things shall be added unto you..." (Matthew 6:43). So let's get close to Jesus and seek him first in our lives. Love is the key; Love, love, love. "…all the laws hang on this one" (Galatians 5:14). We should be calm. Be happy. Smile. We are so blessed; we have been bought at a price.
Let's not just live a busy life. Busyness keeps us from enjoying life and enjoying Jesus in the now. It is a carefully crafted mask of pseudo-spirituality that hides us from ever having to be still for too long. It stops us hearing the still voice of calm. The voice of Jesus. "But it is kingdom work," we reply. "We are doing so much 'good'." Jesus replies: "I want your heart." - remember Mary & Martha. Like a father, he wants us to be happy. Perhaps you know that feeling for your own children. When you want to say to your child: "it is all ok. Don't worry so much. I love you. Enjoy our time together now, not tomorrow. I will hold you. Together we will have great adventures and you will blossom…"
Nestle don't wrestle
Do we want to be effective? Do we want to change the world? The world says then we must get busy, have a plan, have a strategy, get serious. The kingdom of God is different, it is topsy turvy, it always has been; it is part of what is so wonderful about Jesus. He turns things upside down. Forgive. Love. Be still. So we want to be effective and change the world? Jesus has the plan – pray for it to come about. Nestle don't wrestle. Listen. Walk and play and smile and have fun with Jesus. He has the plan, the strategy. He can do the serious bit. We are his children. He wants us to be light. To be happy. Free under the shadow of his great wing.
And as we walk this path, seek community - honest real, true friendships, and keep them fun. Enjoy each other. In the now. Then get out there and go for it all, your dreams and ambitions and hopes - those things are great, God given, but they need to flow from the core of us that needs to be still. Don't let the journey cover the void. Think about it. We cover the void through spirituality and busyness, all the time. But God wants the core to be filled up first. Who wants their kids to be successful but empty? We want them to be heart and core happy. So stay close to Jesus, calm in his presence, then get out there and do your stuff. But as you are in the middle of the battles and the negotiations and the plans, just sometimes smile to yourself, be still, feel the ever present love of Christ within you. That is a gift of God. He wants us to enjoy the moment, every moment, every blessing of life and health we have been given.
Never take anything for granted. Enjoy. Nestle. Smile. You are so blessed. A child of the Almighty. Bought at a price so you can be free. Don't squander that gift by reaching the end of your days, successful but tired, having been too busy. Enjoy the now. Smile. Be grateful. Be free. It makes Jesus so happy.And amidst it all, again, seek community- honest, real, true friendships, and keep them fun. Enjoy them. Together in Christ. In the now.
Let people hold onto the coattails of your faith
Don't get religious. Or too serious. Ever. Mother Theresa was, above everything, fun. Ask those she worked with. So was Jesus. Read the Gospels. Wine, parties; you name it! Stay close to Christ - smile, be free. That freedom was bought at a price. Life is a gift, given for you, to enjoy. Along the way, bless people, every day, love them, touch them, compliment them, empower them, be generous to them. You have warehouses of resources through Christ that will never run dry. Barns overflowing with God's supply, ready for you to use. Have faith. Give it away. Bless. Bless. Bless. Christ wants vessels that have such faith. Then he can overflow them continuously into other peoples lives.
Let people hold onto the coattails of your own faith. People are so hungry: for faith, for purpose, for meaning, for forgiveness, for healing. Desperate to find home. So don't be shy. Life is too short to be embarrassed to give of your faith. Life is come and gone in a blink. People will want what you have if you are living it right. Hear that? People will want what you have if you are living it right. So give them what you have. Point the way. Always upwards. Always light. Always smiling. There is enough love flowing through you from Christ to fill up everyone who comes near you. Keep giving. It is how Jesus works. Through his children. Through you.
And once again, through it all: seek community - honest, real, true friendships, and keep them fun. Enjoy them. Together in Christ. In the now. And everyday, be oh so grateful.
Thank you Lord, for so much. Alleluia.
Feature Image adapted from image available at www.beargrylls.com