Sunday, May 31, 2009

Following Christ

If you have any knowledge at all of human nature, you know that those who only admire the truth will, when danger appears, become traitors. The admirer is infatuated with the false security of greatness; but if there is any inconvenience or trouble, he pulls back. Admiring the truth, instead of following it, is just as dubious a fire as the fire of erotic love, which at the turn of the hand can be changed into exactly the opposite, to hate, jealousy, and revenge. Christ, however, never asked for admirers, worshipers, or adherents. He consistently spoke of “followers” and “disciples.” -Soren Kierkegaard

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Plot Thickens

One of the biggest misconceptions about the Bible is the idea that it is a "Book of Rules" or its "Advice for Living". I shudder when I walk into a bookstore and see the "Religion" aisle right next to the "Self-Help" aisle.

The Bible is a story. Its not fiction, but it is a story. Its the story of God's elaborate scheme to save the world. Its the story of how God has and will save you and me. Its a story God invites us to participate in.

There have been many days in my recent life where I feel directionless. As malaise occasionally visits me I think, "what's the point of it all?". The Bible says there is a point to it all. This elaborate scheme to save the world is the point of it all. God has a role for each one of us in the story. This isn't a time to float along and wait for something to happen. This is a time to move the plot along. When I'm bored and directionless its because I've forgotten that each morning is an adventure to see where Jesus is leading us into deeper places of love, truth, compassion, and justice. Each one of us encounters opportunities each day to do something good for the sake of God's creation and God's people. Consider the words of C.S. Lewis,

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.
Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations--these are mortal, and their life is to
ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with,
marry, snub, and exploit--immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does
not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment
must be of the kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between
people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously--no flippancy, no
superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with
deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners--no mere
tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.
Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object
presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in
almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat, the glorifier and the
glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.

I'm feeling a renewed conviction to stop "wasting my time"; to remember that we are on a mission of the utmost importance. The busdriver, the barista, the coworker, the friend, the guy on the corner shouting obscenities-- each one of them is loved by God and each of them like you and I are waiting for the light of God's love to shine in. We need to be saved. We need to be helped.