I've been reading Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos lately. We're discussing it in our book club this month. I was struck by one scene where Peter asks Matt how he would explain to someone what it means to be a christian. They have a little discourse and I realized that it all boils down to this. At some point, Jesus is going to say "Follow me" and you are either going to say yes or no. If you say yes, then you are in for the most amazing relationship you will ever experience and if you say no, you will have an admirer who will woo you in hopes that you will one day change your mind.
There is a lot of talk about God abandoning us, but he does not. We abandon him, but he does not forsake us. We are the wayward children, begging to be left to our own devices. God loves and waits and desires for us to come home and accept the love that he has for us in grand abundance. God does not ask us once to follow him, but gives us the opportunity to say yes to his invitation every second of every day.
Being a christian is not a list of rules or even a box that we decide to live within, it is a relationship with the God who created the universe and desires to be with us in every second of our lives. He wants us to follow him so that we may understand and marvel at the mysteries that he has created for us to explore. He wants us to follow him so that we may have a fullness of life that we could never experience on our own.