Pathways to Peace

Following Jesus Down The Road Less Traveled

What Would Jesus Do At The Wild Goose Festival

Wild Goose Festival

Brian Mclaren, Olivia and Me at the Wild Goose Festival

This past week my daughter Olivia and I took a seven-hour road trip to the Wild Goose Festival.  I must confess that next to bodyboarding I do not know when I have had so much crazy fun. Over 2,000 people converged on Hot Springs, North Carolina to have a celebration of Jesus in a primal, earthy and joyous festival.

There weren’t just Christians at this celebration, but everyone was welcome to the table of joy!  I spoke three times on the topic How My Momma, My Wife, and a Little Muslim Boy Saved Me From Racism.  People loved it!  I had no panic attacks this week.  I was in the presence of my true spiritual family.

All Sinners Welcomed!

For Pharisees and political Sadduccess, people who love war, hate diversity, and just cannot stand the thought of Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Evangelicals, Charismatics, Mainliners, Liberals and Conservatives and many other “sinners” coming to the table of Christ’s joy this would have been too much.  I loved it.  It was the road trip of a life time for Olivia and me.

Joshua Comes to Town

Wild Goose Festival

Me and Katie Jo. This girl can do some serious art.

Wild Goose Festival

My good friend Pastor Nar

On the way back home Olivia wanted to watch the movie Joshua on her Ipad.  The film is based on the popular book by Josephe E. Girzone.  It is the story of Jesus who is portrayed in character Joshua who comes to a small town in the U.S.  When he shows up as a handy man Carpenter that starts not only to mend fences and do repair jobs but to fix people’s lives and heal the pain that hinders a beloved community from forming.  Not everyone is happy with what he is doing, but in the end, even the hardest and most fearful Pharisees are won over by his abounding love and generosity.  I love this story.

I could not see the movie because I was driving.  I think it is against the law and probably not a good idea to watch movies while you are driving.  So I had to listen to it on the car surround sound.  It made the seven-hour drive more bearable.

Olivia would stop the movie about every 15 minutes to ask me questions like “Do you think Donald Trump is going to heaven?”  “Is there a hell?” and “How does God want us to live in a country that seems so set on fear and war?”  Not bad questions for a ten-year-old.  She can be so mature one minute and have a melt down over not wanting to take a bath the next.  Why didn’t some one warn me before how complicated and challenging parenting and marriage can be.  Some times it can feel like I am living in a beautiful nightmare, but in the end, I am so glad I did not miss this privilege and right of passage.  The details of that paradox are a blog post for another day.

Olivia and Jubilee Morrell

What Would Jesus Do?

The question that Olivia asked me that stood out the most was: “If Jesus showed up today as he did in the movie Joshua what kind of job do you think he would be doing?”  I must confess I had never thought of this.  We discussed would he take a career in politics, religion or activism.  It was a fun discussion.

Wild Goose Festival

Then Olivia seemed to be smitten by light from heaven.  She said, “I think I know exactly what he would do.  He would be working at the Wild Goose Festival.”

I laughed at first but then I realized that she was dead serious.

She said, “Dad, think about it.  Jesus loves working with his hands and helping people.  He does not like to draw unnecessary attention to himself.  I think he would love driving the golf carts at the WGF so he could pick up weary travelers who had to walk half a mile from their cars to their camp sites.  He might have spoken a time or two, but I think he would rather listen to what the other speakers had to say.  When he was not driving the golf cart around, I believe he would be helping the volunteers cook and serve food at the Desanka cafeteria tent.  Once he was finished with prepping, cooking and serving food to the 2,000 people at the WGF, he would have volunteered to help Papy Fisher in the Desanka Spirit Cafe where he could pray for people, heal their broken hearts and give away a lot of free hugs.  But I think his favorite thing to do would have been to pick up individuals in the golf cart.  He could have done that all day.”

Some fascinating insights into the life of Jesus from a ten-year-old who thinks Jesus would have preferred to volunteer at the WGF instead of being a speaker.   I think I need to get a golf cart.

What do you think Jesus would do if he were walking among us today?  Something to think about.

About Jeff

12 Replies

  1. I loved this so much. What a gift!! Thank you for writing and sharing. May we come to one another like little children without agenda. Just loving and listening and serving

    1. Jeff

      Amen, Anita! She has taught me a lot.

  2. Michael Copple

    Jeff, what is your email, just wanted to provide some input on the Wild Goose. Awesome festival. You guys might like to send out a survey monkey on the Wild Goose.

    1. Jeff

      Hey Michael,

      You can reach me at JB@JeffBurns.Org. Thanks!

  3. Darlene Van Dyke

    What an insightful reflection on both your parts! My spirit is in total agreement. The Goose brings the body of Christ alive in such exciting ways.

    1. Jeff

      You are so correct Darlene! I love the WG. I wish I had started coming years ago. I was in the first organizational meeting of the WG but did not feel led at that time to become one of the founders.

  4. She’s got something, that Olivia of yours! I would have loved to have met you both last week!

    1. Jeff

      Hey Jennifer,

      It would have been our honor to have met you also. Maybe next year? Also, do attend FOC? I come and preach once a year. Maybe we will see you then. Have a great week! Jeff

  5. Jubilee Morrell

    Nice! Olivia can ask good questions. I wonder what she will ask next… 🙂

    1. Jeff

      Thanks, Jubilee! Olivia had a blast hanging out with you. She asks a lot of good questions about life and faith. She really challenges me some time. Great to hear from you.

  6. Olivia

    Dad at the goose I had so much fun!

    1. Jeff

      I loved the road trip and camping at the Wild Goose with you. We will have to do it again. Dad

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