Summary: This message is the third in the "I AM" series that focuses on knowing Jesus. It looks at Jesus’ statement, "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life" and compares the Gospel of salvation through Christ to other faiths.
“I AM: The Jesus We Think We Know”
Part 3 – The Way, Truth, & Life
NewSong Church – 08/05/07
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**NOTE: THIS IS A CONCEPT OUTLINE FOR THIS MESSAGE, NOT THE FULL MANUSCRIPT. GRAPHICS AND MULTIMEDIA ARE AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT THIS SERIES.
Video Clip - “Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark”
[ch.18; 00:58:27 – 01:00:58]
“Why’d it have to be snakes?”
Indiana Jones has come to the opening of the Well of Souls, and as he looks in, he sees that the floor of the great room is filled with deadly snakes. If you have ever watched the movies or followed the series at all, then you know that Indiana has one overwhelming fear – snakes. You know that in his mind he is thinking, “How else can I get in here, what other way can I go, what alternative routes are there?” Unfortunately for Indiana, there is no other way. If he wants to enter into the Well, he has to go through the snakes.
Indiana Jones is faced with a dilemma – to continue on his quest, or to turn back.
I’m the kind of person who likes to have choices. I enjoy having options when I’m faced with a situation or issue. And I’m the type of person who often attempts to create an alternative when there doesn’t seem to be one.
• I don’t like being told “You have to do it this way.”
• More often than not, I reject the notion “This is the only way to do this.”
• My first inclination is to immediately begin to develop other possibilities.
• Some times that can be an advantage – it allows you to bring creative solutions to situations; you begin to look deeper for things that may have been overlooked; you check all the angles and perspectives to see if there is another approach that can be tried.
I have a friend who drives with this concept in mind – it does not matter how reliable the route, he will always attempt to create his own. And usually he comes up with a route involving traveling miles of winding back-roads, switching from road to road, cutting through small towns, and generally making a straightforward, easy trip into a quest of trial and error, and a lesson in patience and often forgiveness.
Because no matter how many different ways he can get from point A to point B, very seldom are the alternatives better than the original directions.
And to me, nothing is more frustrating than spending a huge amount of time, energy and resources on developing an alternative only to have to come back to the original way – not because I regret the loss of my time or resources, but because I failed to discover another option.
Just Do It
I grew up with the old saying “Do it right the first time and you won’t have to do it a second time” and to this day I find myself repeating it when I’m involved in a project. But even as I say it, there is always a small part of me that wants to resist that wisdom, to reject it as old tradition, and to spend the rest of the day experimenting and exploring other possibilities.
I think most people find themselves with these same feelings, dealing with this same nature at some point in life. It seems to be an instinctive drive that we all have to some degree, the desire to find our own way, discover things for ourselves, and to create our own path in life.
There is no one who tells us that we have to do this or that or be this or that – everyday there are people who quit their jobs to pursue a lifelong dream. Reality television is an example of this when you see people who have left their jobs and their families in order to become America’s Idol, or the Last Comic Standing, or the Next Top Model, or any other number of things.
The Okay Message
Do we think these people are crazy? Do we think they’re nuts? Do we question what is best for them and for their lives, and do we compare their lives to our own in order to judge who has made better choices and found greater fulfillment in life? I think we do, but in the end, we allow them to decide for themselves what is best for them the same way we reserve the right to decide for ourselves what is best for us.
We move into this mode: “I’m okay and you’re okay.” How I choose to live my life is up to me, and what you choose to do is up to you and as long as yours doesn’t interfere with or inconvenience me, we’re “okay.”