May 18, 2012
Sometimes the most astounding and distressing thing about our lives as Christians is the lack of a sense that there is really any urgency connected with how we move forward into whatever lies before us in the Story that we have fallen into.
Sure, I understand that our first thought is, who would really want the pressure? Our lives are already awash with anxiety, panic, the never-ending, overwhelming tyranny of the urgent. Those bills have to be paid NOW or they're going to shut off our electricity or repossess our car. If the grass isn't mowed THIS weekend, it'll be too tall to get through it with that lawnmower that's put in good service, but has seen better days. If we don't get that project in the mail TODAY we are going to have some very angry clients, maybe jeopardize the whole business. If I don't come up with an incredibly romantic date SOON, that relationship might be headed for the rocks.
And so it goes...
There's no question that we understand the need to "git 'er done". Whether it's human nature or not, it certainly is the spirit of this Age in first world cultures worldwide. We are keenly aware that in almost every area of our lives, choices come with consequences, and as a result we live with a sort of emphatic urgency about the things that seem to matter the most to us at any given moment. Of course some of this is incredibly unhealthy and mistaken, don't get me wrong. But it is, for the most part, the way we have come to view the world.
So then the question has to be asked, what are we doing wandering through our spiritual journey like it's one big invitation to spend an afternoon at the mall, or the zoo, or the beach?
Sure, Grace is a pretty big deal in Christianity. There's plenty of it to be had, and most of us don't mind standing in line as often as it takes to get all that we need and then some.
I get that.
But even though it is "grace that leads me home", and grace that carries us so often along the Way, there are still other components to our creation as image bearers, made in the likeness of God. Even in the midst of our addiction to grace, we never fully extinguish our longing to have something expected of us.
"Oh how we long for this -
for a great endeavor that draws upon our every faculty, a great 'life's work' that we could throw ourselves into."
- John Eldredge
And your heart says, "Yes."
That sentiment is not the sort of thing a preacher has to exhort you to do your best (with the help of your accountability group) to manufacture.
It's just there.
It's in you.
Your soul, in fact, leaps at the suggestion.
I think it's safe to say that we were made to feel that way.
So who do you know that treats the next 24 hours in their relationship with God, with Jesus, and with the whole Unseen Realm like it is something more than a walk in the park, a past-time, a hobby for the 'good' people of the world?
Why, for the most part, is our Spiritual Journey the last thing on our list of what really needs to get attended to right NOW?
This is why cultivating an 'epic' mindset is so vitally important. Because, to some degree, the Quest does stand upon the edge of a knife. Ground is being won or lost right now, today, that has HUGE implications on the Journey ahead -- both for you and for those that need you.
"Stray but a little and it will fail, to the ruin of all..."
May we all inject our spiritual lives with some of that sense of importance and urgency...