Saturday, June 11, 2011

Luxury Train Ride

I read something this morning that made me smile, really smile.  It was an advertisement for a luxury train that travels through certain parts of Africa, and this was one of the lines from their luscious ad:  "We have designed this safari for travellers who wish to re-live true adventure in complete luxury, comfort and security."  And it struck me, isn't that so much of what our Christian life is about?  We long for God's power to be displayed, to take part in great exploits like the believers of old did, but we seem to gloss over the parts where people lost their heads, like John the Baptist, or the fact that almost every one of the disciples lost (gave) their lives in a most unpleasant way for the sake of the gospel.  We read of the great missionaries, like David Livingston, and great revivalists who had such an impact on the world, and we long for that kind of influence in our own lives, but we skim over the fine print that talks of the heartache, rejection, and outright suffering that they endured in order to carry out the call on their lives.  


This is a picture of some sleeping lions that my friend Wendy took on a recent trip to Zambia.  While they were not on a luxury train, they were in open vehicles, and were advised by the guide to take their pictures as quickly as possible so that they would not be attacked!  
And like the advertisement, so much of what is offered today by North American Christianity is like that train ride through Africa - the promise of real, genuine adventure, but all from the comfort of complete provision and security.  I hardly think that David Livingston would agree that the adventure is the same as what he experienced when viewed from the window of a luxury train.  Maybe that is why there is so much discontentment and disillusionment in the Christian church today.  Maybe we need to get off the train and be chased around by a lion for awhile, instead of touring the halls of past exploits from a position of comfort and security with little chance of failure or defeat, and calling it an authentic, genuine adventure.  Just something to think about, that's all.

1 comment:

Bren said...

Great insights Kel, and what a great illustration, sure highlights the discussions we've been having.