Like a modern day parable, Jack Steuf, the man who found Forrest Fenn’s treasure, rejected sophisticated and highly technical theories on locating the treasure and simply attempted to understand Forrest Fenn himself.
“I understood him (Fenn) by reading his words, and listening to him talk over and over and over and over again. And seeking out anything I could get my hands on that told me who he was.”
Do you catch the intensity of the effort made to understand the man?
The parallel to the spiritual life is acknowledging that our Christian life can be as basic as following Jesus into his way of living, his way of listening, his way of teaching, his way of serving, his way of loving. In many people minds, it has to be more complicated than that. But it really isn’t.
Jesus fully intended his followers to put his teaching into action.
At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, he says that “anyone that hears these words of mine and puts them into practice” is like a man who built his house on a rock. Just before his crucifixion, he told his disciples, “I have set for you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
What was the example? He had just removed some of his own clothes and taken the place of a servant and washed the feet of each of the men in the room. He didn’t want his followers to just hear what is good to do but he wanted them to be active in doing those things – don’t judge, don’t worry, serve sacrificially, go the extra mile, let your yes be yes and your no be no. Jesus did all of this and taught his disciples to do the same.
There is treasure to be found in the Christian life but it is not buried, it is on display in the four gospels and we should put aside the temptation to make it more complicated than it needs to be.
Return to Jesus, memorize what he says, notice how he responds, let him speak to you in his own words, and start to practice his kind of life. Ruthlessly remove things, even good things, that are a reduction of Jesus’ life and message or are a proposed “hidden” feature of his purposes. These are a distraction.
Jesus lived, breathed, taught, healed, ate, suffered, died, and rose again. Start your spiritual focus this year on Jesus and don’t deviate from that focus. Reject anything that distracts from that focus. The essential Jesus we see in the gospels and have embraced in our hearts is the only true path to Growing Up and being the people we long to be and the people Jesus has designed us to be.
Discover Jesus anew in 2021.