eNewsletter Feature Story – Week of May 2 – May 8, 2021

This week’s eNewsletter feature
was written by Jim Teague,
FPCE director of communications.

Dear friends,

Jack London, writing by a fallen tree, 1905

Jack London, 1905

In 1905, author Jack London published a collection of essays on the life and craft of writing titled No Mentor But Myself. London encouraged the aspiring writer to be focused and diligent in his or her efforts:

“Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.”oaf and invite inspirat

That’s an image that resonates with me as I consider how best to walk in faith. I want to pursue my relationship with Jesus like a man hunting something with a club. My heroes of the faith — D.L. Moody, George Müller, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot — were people of action, driven to take risks, save souls, and trust God above all else.

I can picture any one of them carrying a club down a dark path, or, better yet, clothed in the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), steadfast and ready for battle. Each would be fully cognizant of the reality of spiritual warfare, and yet equally practical in their approach to tackling and resolving the trials each of them faced.

I must confess, however, that I have spent good portions of my life as a Christian loafing about, hoping for inspiration, and waiting for the right moment instead of acting in the moment — taking the bull by the horns, so to speak. I want to get things “just right” in my thoughts before acting upon them, and the result is often a missed opportunity, losing my moment to lead and instead just being one of the crowd.

Please don’t think that I’m laying a guilt trip on myself or anyone else. The Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles illustrate all too well that the Apostles and Disciples were a diverse bunch with a broad spectrum of unique personalities. I’m just saying there are times I want to be the one carrying the club instead of taking notes on what took place in front of me.

This Sunday, Dr. K.K. Yeo will preach from Acts 1:1-11, which details the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven 40 days after his resurrection.

Verses 10 and 11 are as follows:

10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.

Now, I’ve always been taught that the two “men in white robes” were angels (maybe the same two who Mary Magdalene met at the tomb of Jesus?).

In my mind’s eye I picture them speaking to the Disciples in somewhat exasperated tones, as if to say “Hey! Time’s a-wasting! Let’s get a move on, shall we? He’s not coming back until your work is finished!”

That work, so well started, still remains unfinished.

Jack London died at the age of 40, his body ravaged by a variety of ailments and illnesses brought on by hard living and exotic travels. An avowed atheist, he was quoted as saying, “I believe that when I am dead, I am dead. I believe that with my death I am just as much obliterated as the last mosquito you and I squashed.”

I admire him as a writer, but believe our God has plans for us bigger than we can possibly imagine — even for our squashed mosquitoes. Where I can help bring down barriers that block our vision of God’s plan, I hope to live a life where the club I carry is used to break down those walls that keep God’s light from shining through. And I hope to get some time with those two angels and hear the real story behind their words.

Join us this Sunday at 10 a.m. in the First Pres parking lot or online at https://live.firstpresevanston.org/.

God’s peace to each of you!

Jim Teague
FPCE director of communications

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