A certain Christian song that was big when I was growing up started ( this is for you Erin) “Saddle Up your Horses…we’ve got a trail to blaze…” It’s very high energy, inspirational, live a big life – ish…a lot of what Christian radio still runs on.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Problem is, as I’ve gotten older, the high adventure spirituality talk hasn’t always connected.
Much like, how marriage can be a wild adventure of love and relationship, but many days it resembles an uphill battle against being passive aggressive.
And the more I hear Christian songs about not settling for the mundane life, I wonder where I went wrong. Because I’ve been at this faith thing for a long time, yet I still spend a whole lot of my day dealing with this:
Except its full of disgusting washed food particles. And I find it impossible to spiritualize, no matter the soft light that shines in on it causing shadows to dance over old, now rinsed off mac n’ cheese. Back in college, I secretly refused to empty it myself and would leave it for someone else. Yes, I was that mature and that elitist. I swore I would always have a a garbage disposoal so I wouldn’t need to put my hands on that thing.
What’s that they say about karma?
Anyways, as I’ve matured (can I call it that?) the whisper and call has been to the ordinary, to love steadily, to live out patience for the here and now, hope for more. I would love for my life in Jesus to be an picture of extreme adventurism, and my attitude to be so consistently inspirational that my friends take notes…in small moleskins they insist on carrying when I’m around.
But the truth is…I’m still learning to share and working on being nice. Or really just not being mean. Next year I’ll work on being nice. Plus, when I’m honest about the ugliest parts of me, what keeps me from loving my family well so often is not exhaustion, or impatience, though they factor in, but it’s that dark and subtle wondering “Shouldn’t I be doing something MORE? Something significant?“ Perhaps something that feels big and great and exciting. Anyone with me?
Mark Galli, Christinaity Today editor, wrote an article that brought all of this together for me. The ending gave me such a big spiritual Oprah AHA, that I wanted to share the excerpt.
Two thoughts first:
1: Yes, I’m typing this in because you have to subscribe to CT to access it online. (Your welcome and thank you Mr. Van Fleets 9th grade keyboarding course)
2: Galli writes in response to Rob Bell’s latest book. I simply had a response to his response. This blog does not have an official stance on Rob Bell, as this Blogger has never read any of his books or seen his videos. Controversy be gone. Thank you.
Here’s the excerpt:
“…I believe there is yet another reason we’re fascinated with divine encounters: our boredom with the life God has given us.
Instead of a life of experience, Christ calls us to a life of love. And a life of love for the most part means attending to the tedious details of others’ lives, and serving them in sacrificial ways that most days feels, well, not exciting at all. Rather than sweeping the kitchen, cleaning the toilet, listening to the talkative and boring neighbor, slopping eggs onto a plate at the homeless shelter, or crunching numbers for another eight hours at the office – surely life is meant for more than this. We are tempted to wonder, Is that all there is to the “abundant” Christian life? Shouldn’t my life be more adventurous if God is in me and all around me? How am I going to be all I’m supposed to be if I have to empty bedpans in Peoria? I would just die if I had to do that.
Yes, you would. Jesus called it dying to self. Love is precisely denying the self that wants to glory in experience. The cost of discipleship most of us are asked to pay is to live the life God has given us, serving in mundance ways the people he has put in our path. To be free from the self and to discover such love is the essence of abundant life.
As Paul put it, in the final analysis love is not about speaking in tongues, having prophetic powers, understanding all mysteries or knowledge, having experiences of wonder, or being all we can be. Love instead ” bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (ICor 13:7 ESV). Yes, endures. It endures now because it hopes. And it hopes because it has not yet been given in full what is promised, but only glimpses here and there, mere appetizers to the great kingdom feast. ”
Mark Galli, Christianity Today, ” What We Talk About When We Talk About Rob Bell” May 2013