The day of our wedding was a blur. I assume most married men and women would say the same. I remember bits and pieces like fanning through a photo album. You see all the pictures but only a few seem to stick. One particular memory is the moment when my father in law picked up the microphone to give a toast. He said many things but what I remember is when he said, “Be ready, it’s gonna be an adventure.” Maybe we have all heard those words a thousand times, but for whatever reason we repeat the line to each other quite a lot. Such a generic grouping of words but if either of us says it out loud we know exactly the who, the where, and the when of that sentence.
We are often at the place where we think, “If this adventure is supposed to be some sort of ride I’m ready to exit this seat.”
Over the past few months we have been moving forward with two tasks we know are from the Lord (1.”Developing” and teaching a high school Bible program while deliberately getting into the lives of students and their families. 2. Planting a church) and at the same time have known that the very pursuit meant the death of a dream for us, or at the very least a large alteration. A dream we both had years before we met, in which we took great risk, invested hours of time and prayer, and moved halfway across the country to pursue. We will never regret the step and where it led, but one day it was as if the Lord said, “Temporal or Eternal pursuits…. what’s it gonna be?” (I’m sure He said it with much more eloquence.)
We are thankful for His direction and see the next stop on our missionary journey as rich and meaningful and it has given us a real kick in the pants, but we have come to realize something about ourselves during this time. Time to fess up. Ask either one of us and we will tell you the same……..we are a couple of wimps.
Please hear us. This is not a false humility plea where the orator is hoping someone will stop him mid-sentence and say, “No Mr. Orator, you’re not a wimp. You’re great! Chin up! Rainbows and lollipops!” Nope. We’re fessing up. When it comes to this Christian walk Mr. & Mrs. Akridge are wimps.
There is a song by U2 called, “Acrobat”, and it’s one of my favorites. The song says,
“To take the cup, to fill it up, to drink it slow, I can’t let You go, but I must be an acrobat, to talk like this and act like that.”
The song goes on to speak to the notion that we talk a good game but when trouble comes we get twisted like a pretzel into something we barely recognize. “…and I must be some sort of acrobat to talk like this and then act like that.”
What has the challenge been? What confirmed we’re wimps? Simply….God meeting our needs. Good grief. We must be the children of Israel. Things get tough….we freak out….God provides… we say thanks….things get tough…..we freak out….God provides….we say thanks….things get tough….lather-rinse-repeat.
It’s not a big secret. We’re not sitting on a pile of money. When we started moving in faith God didn’t provide a bag of silver coins, He simply provided His promise to provide along the way. We were down to beans and our bills this week added up to beans and sprouts. We had the beans, not the sprouts. Then we learned we didn’t owe car insurance for this month. Sprouts! (there’s a “hill of beans” joke in here somewhere….)
We’re day to day my friends. I’m not talking about the money. Yeah, money is tight. We aren’t sure where the manna is going to come from. So what? We have food, clothing, and a roof. We’re better off than 99% of our Christian brothers and sisters sharing the Gospel around the world. So no, I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about our faith.
God peels back a layer of the onion in our lives and when we think He has arrived at the core He peels off another.
Do we have faith that Jesus is our Savior? Yup.
Do we believe that He is God, the Creator of heaven and earth? Yeah, no problem.
Are we prepared to follow Him at the cost of our earthly comforts and feelings of temporal “security”? Mmm, let me get back to you on that one. We get shaky.
Some days we are walking boldly in faith and have a peace that passes all understanding, and the other days we are ready to put our master’s degrees to work for us and make some real money and begin storing up our treasures on earth. But the Lord won’t let us off the hook, and our spirits are thankful even if our flesh is sometimes weak.
Why so “open”? We want this to be an encouragement, and a good way to encourage a brother or sister is through honesty and rolling up our sleeves to show you our imperfections. We know we are on the right path, but it doesn’t mean we have anything figured out. At all.
If God has called you to take a leap of faith and you have a peace that makes zero sense, the leap is scary and takes no account of earthly security and may look ridiculous to others, Christians included, then you may be on the right track. God doesn’t deal in safe leaps.
As the years go by and we remember the words “….it’s going to be an adventure” we are learning more and more we know less and less about our Lord and the way He works. Whenever we think we have Him figured we realize even more He is the calculus to our 1+1.
Since the day of our wedding it has been an adventure. Living in different places, dealing with different experiences, learning more than we ever thought possible, but God continues to provide and fill up our photo album even when we act like the children of Israel. And to be honest I was never good at calculus anyway.