Follow Jesus: No Lines, No Waiting

Aug 2, 2012

A good lunch, but not the Bread of Life

Let me start by saying I love Chick-Fil-A. When my husband and I were down south in May we were in a long drive up line and a young man approached our car to take our order, apologizing for the wait. Then he asked if it was our first time and for my husband it was. “Oh, then your meal is free.” Impressive. Also impressive is the fact that they close on Sundays, like all of America used to when I was a child. A day of rest. Take it, America, we really, really need it.

But if you’ve followed the recent news at all, which I don’t, but my husband does, there was a recent uproar over several cities seeking to ban Chick Fil A from their gates, because the owner is Christian, and has stated his opinion that gay marriage is wrong. For this opinion, whether you agree with it or not, apparently his fast food chain is not welcome in these-here parts. And in opposition apparently Christians all over the Chick Fil A territory of the US mobbed their beloved fast-food chain, causing record breaking sales and emptying Chick Fil A’s of fried chicken and sweet tea.

Do mayors really have so little to do that they have their finger on the pulse of a food chain owner’s beliefs? What does the Burger King owner believe in? Dominoes? Does he own guns? Spank his kids? Maybe they support sweat shops in Hong Kong or worship Satan and sacrifice small animals. Ban them all! It probably wouldn’t hurt America’s blood pressure. My point is no more significant than anyone else’s. Which is exactly my point.

If I’ve learned anything at all as a Christian it’s let’s keep the main thing the main thing. Funny how when your world comes crashing down around you and all you can see is blackness, and all you can feel is bone crushing pain, the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes very simple. “Come, “ he says. When the weight of despair and the complexity of a fallen world crush you and leave you with no other thought than, “Get me out of here,” He says, This way, follow me. I am the truth, the way, the Life. And He doesn’t follow anyone. Conversely, not everyone will love him or want him in their town.

The Bible says God’s ways are not our ways. He walks among us now, but mostly in places where opinions fail to deliver, social issues become shallow and irrelevant and life is derailed from talking head entertainment. In hospitals, crack houses and funeral homes, in our solitude and fear. In the streets of India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Columbia where Christians are giving their lives, gladly, so that they can simply obey His voice, “Follow me”. What do they think about all us American Christians standing in line at Chick Fil A?

Opinions are okay. If you know me at all you probably think I have too many of them. But I’ve been humbled in my faith and brought down to a place of silence, and as Job did in ancient times, I put my hand over my mouth. There’s a much, much bigger picture at work here, and it is all under the hand of a sovereign, sometimes surprising God. That’s why as Christians we would do much better just trying to obey the simple instructions Jesus left. Love one another. Bless those who persecute you. Yes, love even your enemies.

Just follow Jesus. Leave the big stuff to Him. He is just and righteous, yet so full of mercy and grace…and wild, extreme love, beyond measure or comprehension. I know. He even loves me.