I did my first extreme ride at Thorpe Park aged fifty-eight, and first canoed along rivers in the South of France in my early fifties. One of the pitfalls of being part of LifeLine (or any church!) for over forty years is to lose that sense of adventure and become caught up with the form. But by the grace of God the adventure is still on.
In my years of maturing one of things that has kept me young is being surrounded by younger lives. In the same way that I have enjoyed stepping into fresh experiences, like the thrilling rides at Thorpe park, I have found inspiration to pursue a freshness in my relationship with God. By surrounding myself with those passionate about Him, particularly those who are meeting with Him for the first time, it is easy to become re-energised.
There is something about being alongside people who have recently experienced life changing encounters with Jesus. Encounters which have resulted in them being able to forgive others, being freed from addiction, healed from an incurable disability or moving from hopelessness to knowing real love for the first time.
Spending time with such people sets my own heart on fire with a fresh passion for God, as I recognise again the miracle He has done in my own life. Being surrounded by people who have a new-found hunger to find the best way to read the bible, and who cannot help talking about their story and the new daily encounters they are having with Jesus, keeps my own adventure fresh.
Yet the challenge for me is this: if God is birthing new life among us, what is my part? The new adventure God is calling these people to is becoming part of my adventure and there is an invitation to others too.
What part does God have for you in the lives of these new followers of Jesus? The question is not only what is next for them, but also what is next for you?