When the Going Gets Rough

 

Objects: Some camping items such as a small tent, sleeping bags, camp stove, etc.

Theme: Following Jesus isn't always easy!

Scripture: As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." Luke 9:57-58

Last week my wife and I went on vacation. We went on a camping trip to the mountains of New Mexico. Have you ever been on a camping trip in the mountains? I have some items this morning that you will need if you decide you want to go camping. Here is a sleeping bag, a small tent, a cook stove, and a lantern. You did want to rough it, didn't you?

I remember the first camping trip my family ever took. Just as we arrived at the camp site, it started to rain. We hurriedly put up our tent so that we could get inside out of the rain. It continued to rain and soon began to get dark. Since we couldn't start a fire or use our camp stove inside the tent, we decided we might as well go to sleep. We spread out our sleeping bags and climbed inside. I sure did miss my pillow...and that ground sure wasn't very soft. Finally, I fell asleep, but soon I was awakened by water dripping on my head through a leak in the tent! All night long I tossed and turned on that hard ground trying to get comfortable and find a spot where the rain wouldn't leak through the tent.

At long last, the rain stopped, but soon the sun began to peak into the windows of the tent telling us that it was time to get up. We got up, grabbed our fishing gear, and went down to the lake to catch some fish for lunch. We had been fishing for about ten minutes when my five year old son asked, "Dad, when are we going to catch something?" Well, after about four hours I was asking the same question! I gathered up my fishing gear and headed back to camp. When I got there, I said to my wife, "Let's pack up and go home. I've had all the fun I can stand!"

Well, I learned my lesson. This time when we went to the mountains, we stayed in a nice cabin with hot and cold running water, a stove, refrigerator, microwave oven, TV with a built-in VCR, and a nice comfortable bed. Now, that's my idea of roughing it.

One day, Jesus was walking along a road with some of his disciples when one of them said to him, "Lord, I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus turned to him and said, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." Jesus was trying to make his disciples understand that it wouldn't always be easy to follow him. There would be some rough times. Well, some of Jesus' followers were willing to follow Jesus as long as it was easy, but when things got hard, they decided it was time to go pack up and go home! Jesus has called us to take up our cross and follow him. Sometimes it won't be easy. People may make fun of you. Some people will hate you. Will we follow him when the going is rough, or will we pack up and go home?

Dear Jesus, you have called us to follow you. Help us to follow, even when the going gets rough. Amen.


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