But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.
Paul's Defense to Felix
One of my greatest simple pleasures is being awake when much of the rest of the world is asleep. Sometimes, it's intentional when I stay up late to read or watch a movie, or up early to head to the shelter to serve the homeless. Being up early every day to wake the teenagers always has my body in a very specific rhythm by summer's end, so I'm awake early and writing this overlooking Myrtle beach and listening to the waves. As I scan the beach, I'm reminded of a moment earlier this week.
My family and I are taking a little sabbath break. The boys are loving it. We took them for a walk a few days ago, and because they like to be busy, they brought their little sand shovels. On the way back, our oldest began dragging his shovel to make a line in the sand. He was careful to avoid most of the obstacles in his path. His legs are long and dinner was the destination, so he got well ahead. Our youngest trailed behind... following his line with dedication and precision, his eyes on the line he knew his big brother had made.
The earliest believers were known as "followers of the way." Like our Jewish forebears, we were known for a way of life, a life set out to us by way of example in Christ and his teachings. Our youngest looked up now and then to collect a special sea shell and admire the birds and the waves, but his path was clear and the way was marked. Our best walk as disciples of Christ is on the path. The early Church was known for generosity and compassion. They followed the Way. If we are to be known for those characteristics, our daily lives must more closely resemble following the line in the sand, even as we wander now and then.