The Simple Act of Trying to Follow Christ

“No one who has not tried it would believe how many difficulties are cleared out of a man’s road by the simple act of trying to follow Christ.” ~Alexander Maclaren

I have a calendar in My Room (i.e. the room I pretend I do work in, but in reality I sit at the kitchen table because certain individuals/creatures all like to come into My Room and take it apart while I’m working): I inherited it from my mom when I took her job at Fox. She inherited it from Gregg’s mom when she took her position at Fox. Oh, the little community we live in.

At any rate, the calendar is one of those inspirational calendars where you flip a page a day and it has a verse and a quote: reusable because it doesn’t have the day of the week or the year. Most mornings I casually flip it, more because the anal side of me wants to be on the correct day rather than to glean its wisdom. This morning, though, the above quote caught my eye, particularly the phrase “simple act of trying to follow Christ.”
Is following Christ a simple act? Then why is it so hard sometimes? I guess ‘simple’ and ‘easy’ don’t always go hand in hand, eh?

And am I truly trying to follow Christ? Or am I trying to follow people who I think are trying to follow Christ? George Fox, Brian McLaren, Andrew Jones, Graham Cooke, my parents? Myself? . . .

The writings of early Quakers seem to communicate that they didn’t desire folks to follow them exactly, but rather to follow the truth behind their actions: a response to ‘primitive Christianity’ – to Christ. And primitive Christianity, well, it seems like when they weren’t following Christ, they got bogged down in labels (Hebrew versus Greek) and rituals (circumcised versus uncircumcised): when they were truly following Christ, they were able to shake the government to its very core.
So, where does spending time analyzing and critiquing movements such as Quakerism and the Emerging church fall into that? Does that help or detract from the simple act of trying to follow Christ?

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