Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes: Making an Effort
Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes opened as the Indian War Canoes on July 4, 1956 (I’m sure there’s some irony in there—probably unintentional) as part of the Indian Village Expansion.
This attraction has the fun distinction of being the only “guest powered” attraction in the park. If all the guests in a canoe decide not to paddle, they’re not going anywhere.
With the Cars Land expansion over at Disney California Adventure, that park has its own guest-powered attraction—Luigi’s Flying Tires. I’ve actually heard complaints from people that they want to go to Disneyland just to passively enjoy the attractions. They didn’t use those exact words, but that was the message.
That’s fine. If you want to make that your park experience, enjoy it that way. But you’re missing out on some fun and unique attractions if you do.
Some people think the Christian life should be the same way. God accepts us as we are, and that’s good enough. Grace means we don’t have to try to improve. In fact, we can’t improve. So we should just be how we are and if other people don’t like it, that’s their problem.
Doesn’t that sound nice? It takes all the pressure off and we can avoid the lure of legalism. God does all the work, and we just sit back and bask in it, living a life free of rules and obligations. People who believe life coaching has no role in the Christianity generally take this view and assert that learning about who God made us to be, how we are uniquely shaped, and how to live and serve in a way that brings glory to Him by being true to how He made us is opposed to how God says we should be.
There’s a problem, though. Yes, we are saved by grace. True, we don’t have to—and can’t earn God’s love and favor. Of course we’ll never be perfect this side of heaven. But that doesn’t let us off the hook to try to improve and grow.
The Christian life requires effort. It’s expected of us that we grow and put the time and discipline in to bring that about. We do it through the strength and power God has given us, but we do have a role in it.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans 14:19)
Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:11)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. (2 Peter 1:5-7)
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. (2 Peter 3:14)
The funny thing about all these places where we’re told to “make every effort to” do something, the word translated “make every effort” means exactly what it sounds like it means. We are to diligently and persistently apply our efforts to accomplishing this task at hand. There is no room for spiritual laziness or for trying to live so far in grace we forget that we do have an obligation to the God who saved us.
Can you be a guest at Disneyland and not experience Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes? Sure. Are you missing out on something that would give you the full experience? Absolutely.
Can you be a Christian and never change, never put in the intentional effort required to grow and become more like Christ? Probably, but why would you want to? His grace is enough to redeem us, but His grace is not all He gave us. You also have His power at work within you to enable you to grow and change and make every effort to accomplish certain goals He has give you. What are you doing with that power?
Question: Do you “make every effort” to grow in Christ, or do you believe that being expected to do that is just legalism and “religion”? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.