After what has seemed like a long, long time we are finally finished with the Tabernacle. That may not be the biggest theological lesson in Exodus 38 (link) but it is still one worth contemplating.
If you go back to the start of the Tabernacle narratives in Exodus 25 and read back through the whole process, you will see that there is a great deal of detail and precision. Many of those details are technical and would be easy to get bogged down in the midst of.
This is not unlike many of the challenges put in front of us as followers of Christ today. The path of obedience is often more complex than we would like it to be. For example, someone determines that the goal of their life is to serve God as a pilot for missionaries. While the obedience goal is quite simple: be a missionary pilot; the path there takes a detailed process to achieve. After all, simply reading the Bible does not qualify one to operate a multi-engine aircraft on instruments at night. You have to learn all of the associated skills.
Too often, though, we get distracted by the details. We would not accept the idea that a physician should get to practice medicine without following the path of study and training. We would not even want someone to build our house that did not know the right end of the hammer to use.
Yet we think too often that following God allows us to skip striving for preparation. We try to cover that with phrases like “God does not want your ability, He wants your availability” to motivate people to commit to things they do not know how to do. That’s not a bad phrase, but for many of us the first step of availability needs to be our being available to develop the necessary skills and discipline to do what God has instructed.
We must not get bogged down, though, in following through with the details that are necessary. You do not need to fill out a lot of checkboxes to be a disciple of Christ or to be a witness to His truth. All you have to be is His follower. Yet from there, we must all begin growing in discipleship, walking with Him day by day to be more like Him.
The details are sometimes slower than we would like, the time does not always seem well spent, but we need to not give up. Keep up working toward the goal you know is necessary to fill what you are called to and for. You will find, in the end, that you are growing to be more like Jesus than you realize.
Have you backed off a difficult goal because the details were too much? Is it possible to recover it and get back going forward?