(First published May 5, 2014).
“What would be a spiritual Spartan Race?”
That was the question I asked a group of 18-24 year olds Sunday morning. We had been taking the previous week about Spartan races and tough mudders. They are obstacle races through mud, past barbed wire, across logs. They demand teamwork and endurance and preparation and work. A couple people from our group have done them. And I wondered, “What would be a Spartan race for people following Jesus?”
After we talked about that for awhile, I asked “What do you need from the next three months?” Several people in this group are in college. School is done or almost done. We’re into summer break. They have all of May, June, and July. So I wanted them to think about what they need to learn or discover this summer. I wanted them to tell us what decisions need to be made, what questions need to be faced.
It took awhile before anyone talked. Then someone said, “I need to sort out which career path to take, what kind of post-graduate study is next. I need to decide about my future.” And we had a few other responses that will shape our conversations for the next few weeks.
And then I asked, “What do you need a small group of trusted friends to do for you?” We didn’t have time to talk about that one. I was fine with that. I want them to think about it for awhile.
I decided that I want to ask you those same questions, rather than giving you their answers. Because they are questions for all of us.
- What would be a life-changing spiritual pursuit?
- What do you need from the next three months?
- What do you need a small group of trusted friends to do for you?
Let us know.
As I think about that group of young people, there has been a lot of change. Some of it unintentional, meandering. But some of it is has been intentional, collaborative, and life-changing. So they are worth considering, these questions.