I have heard about John Wesley all my life. After all I have been raised in and now serve in a Wesleyan denomination. He is usually associated with being the founder of the Methodist movement. He and his hymn writing brother Charles have had an enormous influence upon the church. He was born in the parsonage at Epworth Lincolnshire England in 1703 and died in 1791 in London. He was a preacher, author, leader and as productive a person who has ever lived.
Usually he rode on horse-back. The equestrian statue of him in Bristol is the picture that I use in the heading for my blog. I This one man reading his book on his horse, going to preach the gospel. Wesley rode up to 65 miles a day, and then in his sixties he designed the famous carriage which he had built. It had a bookcase fitted and it was his study, and office, and library. Thus Wesley travelled all over the British Isles, but especially throughout England.
John Wesley traveled 250,000 miles on horseback, averaging twenty miles a day for forty years; preached 4,000 sermons; produced 400 books; knew ten languages. At eighty-three he was annoyed that he could not write more than fifteen hours a day without hurting his eyes, and at eighty-six he was ashamed he could not preach more than twice a day. He complained in his diary that there was an increasing desire to lie in bed until 5:30 in the morning. (Source unknown).
Some of my favorite quotes attributed to John Wesley are:
"God will do nothing but in answer to prayer."
"Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth."
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
The reason for the name "Wesley's Horse," is that I am wondering how I can harness the things in my life and use them to be a better Christian, better Pastor, husband, father and friend. He was able to write sermons, books, and correspond all while riding a horse. Later he would have a carriage constructed and used it as a travelling office.
John Wesley's singular focus seems way over the top to us in our day. I am not trying to copy extremism. I am instead seeking ways to be more effective in spreading the Gospel and edifying the saints. John Wesley serves as a reminder to "redeem the time."
What do I see around me that I could use to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The horse that he rode helped him to be able to read, write, reflect, pray and correspond with thousands. Will my horse, be Facebook, Twitter, the Web, or several things yet uninvented and undiscovered. I must be aware of my surroundings for many reasons, but as a Christian, my awareness must be heightened for the ways that God might be served. I still like Henry Blackaby's thought: 'find where God is working, and join Him.'
Remember pay attention, what is God doing in my world and how can I make a difference in my world? I would love the hear from you and hear how the Spirit is speaking to you. I would love to hear what tools you are using to reach your world.
I will close with one of Wesley's most oft quoted statements. "The World is my Parish."