Everyone begins their adult life journey with great hope and promise. It's like climbing a mountain.
Climbing this first mountain is all about achieving 2 goals:
Establishing your identity
Managing your reputation
Becoming who you think you're supposed to be
Achieving the American Dream
Personal happiness and security
Nice home, nice family, nice vacations, good food, good friends
But...and there is always a but... almost always something happens. You fall into the valley of bewilderment or suffering, anxiety. The fall happens because of...
Failure. You blow it. You make a huge mistake.
Life-altering pain or tragedy - something unexpected, personal or in others close by
Is this all there is? There must be something more. Life is disappointing
Normal Life change...
Review series... we have been exploring anxiety and asking where we can find relief from that anxiety
Barry introduced: chronic anxiety...panic attacks... social anxiety...existential threats from terrorist attacks to school shootings,
Amy - anxiety of loneliness and isolation
Last week - anxiety of the end ... what happens to me when I die
We'll wrap it up with this other kind of anxiety in the valley of bewilderment.
When you get knocked off the mountain of ideneity and the American Dream and the first layer of your life has been strip mined. You wonder what is left? Who am I?
The good news is that there is a second mountain...the mountain of destiny.
This climb is ...a further and fantastic journey. Richard Rohr
He says that the 1st mt is merely the warmup act
David Brooks: Thank you to David Brooks for this imagery in his book The Second Mountain
The first mountain is about acquisition. The second mountain is about contribution. David Brooks, The Second Mountain
The first mountain is about building up ego and defining the self. The second mountain is about shedding the ego and losing the self. David Brooks, The Second Mountain
On this second mountain... You are no longer interested in what people tell you that you want or what you should be
On this second mountain...you want the things that are worth wanting
On this second mountain...It is no longer about self. It's about a summons.
David Brooks describes 2nd Mt people: They know why they were put on this earth and derive a deep satisfaction from doing what they have been called to do. They take on the burden of others. So, life is not easy for them. But they have a serenity about them, a settled resolve. David Brooks, The Second Mountain
Is that you? Where are you on this simple illustration?
Jesus wants to help you out of the valley of bewilderment and anxiety and on the journey up the mountain of destiny.
John 14:12 page 896
Context: last days and hours with his followers.
Jesus spent 3 years helping young men and women get to the 2nd mountain.
Yes, he came to provide redemption
Yes, he came to proclaim the advent of the Kingdom of God
Yes, he came to usher people into the presence of God.
Yes, he came to create a new community of love
Yes, he sought to provide an eternal home for his followers.
Jesus came to take ordinary human beings and direct them to the second mountain of purpose, calling and destiny.
12 ""I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!""
Context - bigger context - is the individual stories of the disciples themselves.
They often get lumped into a group but they each had a personal story that was altered the day they met Jesus.
Each was a first mountain person - trying to build their identity and craft the Judean Dream?
James and John wanted to be build up their egos...considered the best
Matthew was willing to cheat people and steal to be successful and wealthy
Judas wanted some kind of personal power or prestige
Peter didn't know what he wanted half the tim
Who knows what Thomas was looking for - always in his head
Martha tried to define her life as one of duty and order.
Jesus took these young guns and knocked them off ego mountain. Forced them into the valley of anxiety.
He did this so effectively that after 3 years of earth shaking miracles comparatively there really weren't many left following him in the end.
So it's in this broader context in these last moments in which he gets to shape them he says...
12 I tell you the truth...(truly truly)
First - this is a big deal to Jesus. Truly truly...No joke, listen up, pay attention!
, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done,
Believes - pistuou ... entrusts themselves to me
Will do the SAME works...what were those works?
Loving work - he lived for others
Soul saving work - offering new life
Social justice work
Establishment confronting work - calling out the religious and self-righteous
Dark world confronting work - taking on the demonic world
None of that is first mountain work
All of his works were second mountain works
Going after the 1 and leaving the 99
Searching for the lost
100% others oriented work
He lived a life of destiny
And her says...you will too! But...
even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.
Lots of attempts to down play this word...stronger, more numerous, more significant, more weighty, more distinguished, splendid, excellent, exceedingly great
I don't fully understand but don't minimize the impact and Jesus expectations on your life!
You have a summons on your life ...a calling...a destiny...to do Kingdom work in healing the broken places of this world! And yes, in a greater way than Jesus himself!
And he puts two exclamation points...a repeated promise at the end of his challenge...
13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
This is how much Jesus wants you and me to live on the 2nd mountain of destiny...he's offering his help IN ANY WAY!
What do you need to get to your destiny? He'll provide it!
What do you want to be reshaped in your life? He'll help you!
Who do you think you are called to be? He'll show you!
Just a little while later he repeats his promise: John 15:6,7-8
I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15:6,7-8
Remain in me, believe in me, have faith in me, entrust yourself to me and I will lift you from your bewilderment and anxiety and point you to a life of calling.
Remain in me, believe in me, have faith in me, entrust yourself to me and your life will blossom with fruit.
Remain in me, believe in me, have faith in me, entrust yourself to me and I'll answer your wildest prayers for meaning and significance.
Jesus came to take people like you to the second mountain of destiny.
I leave you with these prophetic words of the late Dallas Willard:
You were built to count, as water is made to run downhill. You are placed in a specific context to count in ways no one else does. That is your destiny. Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy