Tag Archives: commitment

fans and disciples

fishes and loavesJesus feeds about 15,000 people. He uses 5 kaiser rolls and 2 small fish. He ends up with leftovers.

For the people present, it was amazing. They were stuffed. They were thrilled. They decided that he must be The One. They decided to make him king.

They were fans.

Jesus knew how to respond. He sent his disciples to the boat, to the lake, to the other side. And he headed for the hills. He headed for some solitude.

When it was dark and the crowd was asleep and his disciples were in the middle of the lake, he walked out to them. They got to the other side, near home.

In the morning, the crowd realized that Jesus wasn’t there, that they weren’t getting breakfast. They went home, too. And they discovered Jesus.

“When did you get here?” they said.

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

And then Jesus started to talk about living bread. In the next few hours, in a couple places, he talked about manna and bread and blood. He talked about what he really came to do.

And the crowd thins out. Some say, “We knew your family. You aren’t so big.” Some say, “You are upsetting what we’ve always been taught.” Some just can’t handle the fact that he’s calling on them to do something, to believe differently, to follow him.

John says,

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Jesus had fans and Jesus had disciples.

  • The fans were there to be entertained and fed.
  • The disciples were there to become like Jesus.
  • The fans were there because they loved when his worldview agreed with theirs.
  • The disciples were there because they loved his worldview.
  • The fans were there because other fans were there.
  • The disciples were there because they had started when no one else was around.
  • The fans were an audience.
  • The disciples were the backstage crew.
  • Fans say, “do that again.”
  • Disciples say, “teach me to do that.”
  • Fans say, “That’s dumb.”
  • Disciples say, “They’ll probably kill us, too, but let’s go with him.”
  • Fans come and go as convenient
  • Disciples live with you.

And of the two?

Disciples change the world; fans just change their rss feeds.

For more on the story, “after it goes great” and “gifts


breaking your own rules

There are promises you make. They are for keeping. There are rules you make. They are for breaking.

Sometimes I tell people that I will do something for them. I promise. I need to keep my word.

Sometimes I worry that all the letters on the Scrabble rack aren’t facing the same way. That’s a rule for breaking.

Keeping appointments? Promise. Writing every single day just so the calendar in the sidebar has a post every day? Rule.

Making the bed everyday (or never making the bed)? Rule. Staying with the person in the bed? Promise.

Doing what people want you to do? Rule. Respecting people? Promise.

Playing catch later, before later becomes a decade? Promise. Wearing shoes and socks and slacks and shirt and sweater that match? Rule.

Drinking coffee every morning? Rule. Making coffee every night so she doesn’t have to? Promise.

Writing about gratitude every day for a month? Rule. Being grateful for you? Promise.

What promises do you need to keep today? What rules can you…do you need to…break?

Happy Thursday.


How many posts will there be this week about the Super Bowl and about Super Tuesday? I heard someone on Saturday (yesterday) talking about having a Super Saturday, playing off from the hype. And on one level, the two events – the game and the primaries – are significant. If significance is measured by money spent or media attention, then these two days are absolutely huge.

But what if you aren’t a superlatives kind of person? What if you are the kind of person who, when asked you you are doing, answers “fine”–and you aren’t trying to avoid truth-telling or masking feelings? What if your honest condition is fine?

Some of us are hesitant to commit to being great or wonderful or super, at least when someone asks how we are doing. We look with suspicion at the people who are “great” and then “lousy” and then “couldn’t be better” and then “this is the worst day”. How can anyone live life with that much, well, instability? Better, we think, to be a nice steady melancholy or calm or subdued or steady than constantly echoing Dickens (“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”).

And yet, maybe life lived at an arm’s length isn’t always best. Maybe there is a place for, like two teams today, like a handful of candidates on Tuesday, jumping in completely.  Not everyone has the same level of emtional expression. Some people really are reserved, really don’t express happiness by bouncing around the room. But for each of us there is the capacity to be all in, to in accord with our personality, to commit.

We’re a month into the year. The groundhog has spoken. Lent is at hand. Now is a great time to decide that today, this week, this month, the next 4 minutes are worth living intentionally.

You in?