I’ve been a groomsman in quite a few weddings. And it’s truly an honor. In some ways, it is an outward expression of saying “I will” to walking alongside that man and that marriage into the unknown landscape ahead.
But carrying a casket is different.
Being a groomsman says, “I will.”
Carrying a casket says, “I did.”
This decade is a crucible. It is a decade of being refined by fire.
Jesus suggests that the gate and the road are wide that lead to death, and many choose to travel that path. The path to life, which few choose, is one with a narrow gate and a narrow road.
I want to find it. I want you to as well. And entering through the narrow gate and traveling the narrow road is a journey that cannot be done alone.
In this decade of excavation and becoming good soil, I’ve come to define a peer as “someone who wants the same thing I want and has to fight through the same crap to get it.”
Dan Allender says it this way:
Find like-hearted kings living in the same direction. Sign treaties. When one kingdom is at war, both are at war.
On how many fronts can you successfully fight a war and be victorious? Be honest. And in how much of your time at any given day/week/year can you be at war and sustain life over the long term?
It will only be a few. And it’s always been that way; Jesus offers the model with his closest brothers-in-arms.
I’ve been at war since March 1st. Swept up in the battle for the hearts of others from the redwoods of northern California to the Bushveld of South Africa to the mountains of Colorado and beyond.
Alex has had my back the whole time. I have been at war and he has been beside me. I would not have made it without him and a small handful of others.
Not only survival (which is a necessary and admirable first step), but more. More life, real life, and joy, much joy, along the way.
We cannot live a supernatural life and travel the narrow road without signing a few treaties with a select few good and holy kings.
Who will carry your casket? What stories will they tell of the camaraderie you shared in both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat?
Solomon says that a man is worse off than a stillborn child if he does not receive a proper burial (Eccl. 6:3). I can imagine few things more central to a proper burial than who will carry my casket.
It will only be a few.
Ask God. Speak their names.
Offer your sword and your strength, with great discretion and sincere devotion, whatever the cost. (In the midst of writing this, I received a mayday call from one of these men. Had to drop everything and go on a rescue mission. Treaties aren’t cheap or convenient. But it’s some of the best currency I spend.)
The reward will last forever.
Father, I want your honest counsel. How many fronts can I fight on and sustain? Who are the men you are asking me to sacrifice for? Sacrifice with? Give me the grace to risk. To sacrifice. To engage. To receive. To love. Guide me in releasing the relationships I am carrying that are not ordained for this season. I want to agree with what you have in these close relationships. Give me a wise and discerning heart. Forgive me for walking alone out of motivations that are not rooted in your heart for my life and your Kingdom resources. I want a supernatural life. I want to share that life with a few. Reveal the path. Shine your light on the narrow gate. Lead me down the narrow road. Today. I open my heart to a revelation from you. I stand against my enemies. Fear of man. Shame. Doubt. Discouragement. I forbid setbacks of the past to shape my choices to move toward Life today. Come, Father, in all your generosity. Come, Holy Spirit, and lead my path. Come, Jesus, and be my life inextinguishable.