Matthew 28:19, “Go and make disciples…”
Luke 10:1, “The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit.”
Mark 6:7, “Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two…”
Matthew 4:19, “Come, follow me,” Jesus said.
It seems to me that Jesus cares a lot about us living out a faith journey. In a quick and cursory study, you can find a lot of action verbs - come, call, send, and go. His teachings aren’t filled with much in the way of sit, stay, and keep your faith to yourself. I think Ray Kinsella understood this better than most.
You’ll remember Ray as the main character in Field of Dreams. Ray’s journey begins as he’s walking in his cornfield at the end of the day when a voice tells him, “If you build it, he will come.” He goes on a journey worthy of being called a Wild Goose Chase (recalling a Bottom of the Ninth from a couple of months ago).
That chase leads Ray to build a field that eventually becomes home to Shoeless Joe Jackson and other members of the 1919 Chicago “Black Sox” who were banned from baseball for gambling on the World Series. However, the journey doesn’t end with building the field as the voice returns with another phrase, “Ease his pain.”
Believing that he’s supposed to ease author Terrance Mann’s pain, Ray goes to Boston to take Mr. Mann to a baseball game. During that game, the voice returns one last time to say, “Go the distance.” Mann hears the voice and hops in the VW van to join Ray on the rest of the journey, which includes a stop in Minnesota in 1972 and back home to the present day in Iowa.
Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But when was the last time you chose to follow the still small voice of God and go on a faith journey? Is the answer “never” or “not in quite some time”? Then maybe you’re due. Don’t get me wrong, following the prompting of the kind of voice like Ray hears or the voice of God is equally challenging and daunting. It’s not easy and often times flat out not fun. But in the end, in the final stage of the journey, we find something more from life.
In Field of Dreams, Ray is reunited with his father. Their strained relationship is healed. I’ll take that particular parallel one step further. Only at the end of a faith journey with Jesus as the lead can we meet the Father. Follow Jesus and see where he takes you. I’m convinced that we can’t find Him by sitting and hunkering down in comfort. We have to get uncomfortable, however that may look, and follow the one whose journey appeared to end on a cross. His journey ended by conquering death through the resurrection. I wonder what He has for each of us in our journeys - conquered fears, deeper relationships, and the life abundant!