Summary: This is week five of a seven part series based on Andy Andrews book, the Traveler’s Gift. This week we look at the Joyful decision and how that looks in the beleiver’s life.
To be like Christ, to be Christ like. That is the goal of most Christ followers, if you ask people who are serious about their faith where they want to go in their spiritual journey they will tell you they want to become more and more like Jesus. But what does that mean? One of my favourite descriptions of Jesus comes from his teen years, believe it or not, and is found in Luke 2:52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and all the people.
In other words Jesus grew up and people liked him. Have you ever stopped and thought about the people in your life that you like? You know, people who are likable people that other people like to be around. People who attract people. Jesus was like that, he attracted crowds wherever he went even little kids liked him.
And I think, in my humble opinion that people like to be around people who are happy and upbeat with a positive outlook on life. For the most part. And if you read through the gospels Jesus seemed to be that type of person, he touched people, he encouraged people and he made people laugh. Who wouldn’t want to be around him? So if you want to be like Christ are you the type of person that other people want to be around?
For those who are guests this week I am part way through a seven week series that is based on Andy Andrews’ book “The Traveler’s Gift.” For those of you who aren’t familiar with the author or the book, or who haven’t been here for a while here is a quick update. Andy Andrews lived a normal middle class life until he was 19, that year his mother died of cancer and his father was killed in a car accident. And overnight he became homeless with an attitude. Andrews himself said “I took a bad situation and made it worse.” Within a couple of years he was doing odds jobs to survive and living under a pier. It was at that point in his life that a complete stranger challenged him about his attitudes and the direction his life was taking. This man whom he only knew as Jones encouraged him to read a series of biographies on famous people, Winston Churchill, George Washington Carver, Joan of Arc and others and seek what it was that successful people shared.
From living under a pier Andrews went on to become a comedian, author and motivational speaker. I first heard him at a leadership conference in 2008 and went out and bought a copy of his book. Since then I have bought close to a hundred copies, some I have given away, others I have loaned out but the majority I simply acted as a broker buying in quantities for other folks. And on my book shelf I have an signed copy, right next to my signed copy of Yogi Berra’s book, “I reallydidn’t say everything I said.”
The Traveler’s Gift is a novel about a man by the name of David Ponder. Ponder has arrived at a problematic spot in life, he has lost his upper management position and has a sick daughter, he is struggling with the hand life has dealt him when he is involved in a car accident and through means never explained to us he travels through time to meet with seven individuals who each offer him a gift, not a tangible gift like a puppy but a gift nevertheless.
Ponder meets Harry Truman at the very end of the Second World War and the President tells him “The buck stops here.” And he encourages Ponder to accept responsibility for the choices he has made in his life. With that chapter I spoke about Adam and Even and their failure to accept responsibility for the choices they had made and I challenged each of us to realize that we are where we are in life because of choices we have made a various junctions in our lives. How we would study, where we would work, who we would marry, how we would spend out money. That if we are going to move on in life and take control over our future we first have to acknowledge that we had control over our past and stop blaming our parents, society and circumstances. That is “The Responsible Decision.”
As our hero continues on in his story he meets King Solomon who tells Ponder that he must choose wisdom. And that week I preached on King Solomon and how when God offered him his hearts desire he choice wisdom. And I challenged you to seek wisdom, though the books you read, the people you choice to associate with, through prayer and the reading of God’s word, the Bible. That is the guided decision.