Sunday, January 11, 2009

Double Duty, and Shaky Metaphors

Sunday means double duty at church, which is fine and dandy.

Pastor came out with a zinger tonight which I swore I'd remember so I could blog about it, but the word-for-word version slipped away from me (like Wilson did from Tom Hanks) as I drove home. I should have written it down instead of relying on my flighty memory.

"I'm sorry, Wilson!"

The gist of the zinger is as follows: "Religion is what we use to keep a safe distance between us and Jesus."

Something along those lines. Trust me, in it's context, it rang like the bells of Notre Dame on a clear winter's morning.

Many find safety and comfort in the predictability of religious customs and rituals. It takes a certain adventurous spirit to ditch religion and follow the Unpredictable King. He could go anywhere or do just about anything! Talk about living life on the edge! If only I could find the safety and comfort in living "right now" with the King, leaving all the planning and foresight to Him, and simply dancing with Him in this moment... and now in this moment... and now in this one...

John 3:8: The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

People don't know where you came from or where you are going, but they sure know as you pass by, because they feel the life that you carry with you. God blows you here and there, throughout the day, every day, as He sees fit, bringing life to those around you - and the best part is, you don't need to plan it! You just hear Him, follow His direction, speak what He says to speak, when He says it, and move on to the next one. A life-giving spirit! That is what life is supposed to be!

I was thinking again tonight about my "belief" mantra, which I've mentioned many times before, and the more I ponder it, the stronger it solidifies within me... like it caught the unfortunate glance of Medussa herself... the mantra that "What we believe is directly reflected in what we do." In other words, our behavior reveals our belief system, more clearly and indisputably than what we could ever say with words.

Often, I say I believe one thing, but I do something contradictory - and explain it away by saying "Yes, I did that, but God knows my heart. He knows I believe right." Or some such.

What does that have to do with the safety of religion? Religion is spiritual busy-work. I think all Christians know instinctively how important obedience is to the Lord. If you don't know the Lord's will, you can't be accused of being disobedient. If you busy yourself with religious things, you don't have the time to get heart-to-heart with the King and find out what His "right now" will is for you. As an added bonus, to everyone else, you're obviously an overcomer, since you are doing good, religious things each day! How can anyone find fault with that?

Jesus is unpredictable, and that's frightening.

Well, it all ties together in my mind, whether I can explain it right or not! So there! :P

Anyway, it was a good day out here in the crazy West coast of the U S and A. Incredibly good weather. If only I could muster the gumption to get out and trim the bushes and pick the rest of the lemons before they fall to the ground, then all will be well in the world.


havah said...

My pastor said something similar a while ago, and it rings true now too when you say it. We do hide behind religion -- so much safer than actually having a relationship. People do it all the time in regular relationships; why wouldn't they (we) do it with God?

The problem with religiosity is that it all comes from you, and that's not how relationships work...and certainly not how God works. I think he'd probably love it if we'd all stop doing so much to be dutiful, and just sat and had a conversation with Him. We're so busy in our lives that we seldom hear'd think we'd stop being so busy in religious/church things so we don't miss Him there too.

But that's just me...

David Wagner said...

I think if we tried out the "right now" thing, we'd wonder why we stuck so long with the hard(er), less productive way...

havah said...

I love that idea of living from moment to moment with God...of being in His will now, and now, and now. It simplifies life down into truly defining moments; it creates a constant intimacy with God that I think we all long for. I wish I knew how to consistently do it...