Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.
These two men were taking a small group of us to watch birds on Crocodile Island in the Blue Nile.
When boatmen like these pull on their oars they cannot see where they are going. They know where they want to go. They untie their boat and set out in the right direction. But for most of the journey they sit facing one way while pulling powerfully on the oars. The boat goes the opposite way! They can see clearly where they have come from. But they must glance over their shoulders from time to time in order to check where they are going.
For most of our outward journey these men were rowing against the current flowing down the river. It was hard work in the hot sun. They kept at it. And because they did, we all arrived safely and enjoyed our afternoon.
Peter, Andrew, James and John were four of the first disciples of Jesus Christ. He met them when they were fishing by their boats. The invitation Jesus gave to them, He gives to you too:
“Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”, Matthew 4:19.
You may not be able to easily see your future. You may look back and see you are leaving familiar things behind. Following Jesus through your life will bring many changes. But this is how God makes out of you the man, or the woman, He wants you to be.
A year or two later Jesus said to these disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”, Matthew 16:24-26.
Christians live against the flow. Our reward is more than this world can ever give us. Jesus lives on the other side of His death. And so will we.