Our journey started with anticipation, bikes loaded like a Hilux bakkie and grown men as excited as small boys. We left from Somerset-West, Western Cape to Greytown Natal on our round about journey of 3520km.
While riding through our beautiful country we were confronted with God’s majesty. From the Mountains of the beautiful Cape to the plains of the Karoo we saw God’s creativity, His grace and His greatness.
Our trip to Greytown was a sermon in itself with God providing the backdrop. We came together as guys who knew a little about one another but ended as friends who shared a amazing experience with God. Riding, camping and being together became a song of worship that was answered by God Almighty.
We reached the farm Shalom at Greytown joining the other guys of our Church for the conference. Pitching our tents, joining 300 000 men for a weekend of seeking the face of God.
On my way I listened to the books of Ron Martoia. Transformational Architecture: Reshaping Our Lives as Narrative This book is available at Audible.com It is a very interesting, liberal and thought provoking book. The interesting thing was that this liberal and academic Ron came to the same conclusions as the ultra conservative Angus Buchan. In the meantime I was busy with my Bible study with the book Jona where I too reached the same conclusion. Thus on these three levels I had experienced God’s will for my life and the World we live in. Couple this with the exhilarating spiritual bike trip and the experience of 300 000 men praying and singing together in the presence of God and you have Godly moments in a strange place.
What is this NEW message of God? God loves me, God loves you and God wants us to love one another. He wants us to live forgiveness, grace and mercy. He wants us to live with respect for Him and for those around us. He not only wants to bring healing but He also wants to bring hope. So what was new? The fact that 300 000 men bowed their knees in a communal worship and said “Yes Lord, I choose to make these things part of my life” This was more than the rational choice we as South Africans (especially Afrikaanse manne) usually makes. Grown men stood crying confessing their sins, sometimes even before the sermon.
Then there were holy moments at the tents, where men sat down and took off their masks. They allowed others into their broken lives. Telling stories of failure, pain, brokenness, confessing their sins and praying for one another. I SAW God working in and through men, not only those who were trained for spiritual work, but those who where willing to open themselves up to the living God.
If I have to talk about my spirituality I must confess that the way Angus Buchan uses the Bible does not really fill me with excitement. But I am convinced that the Lord God uses him in a wonderful way. With all respect my experience is that he has two messages that he preaches over and over again. When I look at some of the prophets of the Old Testament I find people who were called to deliver one message. Take for example Jona, one message and a whole city was saved! Angus Buchan has a life calling and I pray that he will stay true to it. He is helping the church, he is not starting a new church.He never tries to talk theology.
He reminds me of Paul in 1 Cor. 2:
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
I think that if there is one thing that we can learn from him, it is to stay true to the basics. To live with passion and to dare to walk by faith and not by sight.
On our way home we talked about our experiences and I could not help but smile at the thought that if the church (all the denominations) are so busy with their plans, visions and great theology that they do not focus enough on the basics of the gospel of Jesus Christ – then Jesus Christ will call upon a farmer to do His miracles. God does not need somebody with a systematic theology or a sort out spirituality. When we tend to make things too complicated, God will use those who are willing to bow down and submit. He is not in need of our knowledge, He wants us to love Him. I did not agree with all Oom Angus had said, but then again I do not want to follow Oom Angus, and luckily he is not looking for followers, he is just pointing them to Christ in the only way he knows.
The trip on the bike back was absolutely the most amazing blessing. We were surrounded by beauty! It was as if the Lord God Himself spoke the blessing on our lives.
I know my Saviour lives and that He is still calling me to preach the basics, to build relationships, to love those around me and to love Him with everything I am.
Thank you Father for Godly moments in a strange place.