So I have been sitting on the couch for the past 10 days contemplating life. I’ve come to the conclusion that it was no accident that God allowed me to tear my ACL. God knew that for me, like Jacob, in order to stop stubbornly struggling, I need a little crippling from time to time. This has been a time to stop and smell the roses of reflection and catch fresh glimpses of insight. So before the rip current of the culture starts trying to pull me out into a sea of mediocrity I thought I would jot down some reflections, confessions really, of what I’ve seen about my own life as God slowed me down long enough to take an honest look. I hope they will inspire you to stop and reflect as well.
Life is busy, but rarely seems significant.
I didn’t work for a week and nothing significant happened, nothing. Well-meaning friends would assure me that everything was going great in my absence. Yet, looking at the Gospel accounts, Jesus couldn’t go away for more than few hours without everyone feeling the loss of His presence. Every moment of His life seemed to scream with significance and shout to the world that the Kingdom of God had come! It made me wonder if I’ve been exchanging true significance for the cheap substitute of busyness. If you take away the busyness how much significance remains?
More rest doesn’t bring more peace.
I’ve also had plenty of rest, but inner peace still seems elusive. The diminished stress just seems to have highlighted a deficiency of peace. I think the pace of life somehow blinds us to our incredible lack of peace. We are too busy to notice that we actually lack the kind of peace God promises. Maybe the reason we stay so busy is so that we don’t have to face the reality of our anemic spirituality?
The complexity of life tends to dilute purity of heart.
The challenge is that the pure in heart are the ones who see God. So, as my purity of heart diminishes, so does my vision of God. Complexity is addictive because it gives me an arsenal of excuses for neglecting what is truly important while also providing an avalanche of distractions under which I can bury the meaninglessness of my life.
It’s easy to lose sight of community amidst the throng of the crowd.
I long for a place that feels like family. I long for a place where we do more than sit next to each other, or work along side each other. I long for a place where we genuinely live life together and share our hearts and hurts, fears and doubts, laughter and tears. I have 1,300+ friends on Facebook. Yet, the more “Friends” I get the shallower my friendships seem to be. My friend Joseph came over the other night and we shared life and worked writing a worship song together. It was sweet. And I think that simple sharing of life in Jesus was the kind of worship God loves than any song that thousands might sing.
Jesus + nothing = everything.
The reality is, Jesus doesn’t need props. Something is wrong when worship needs a show to be compelling, the Word needs creative packaging to be interesting, and church becomes something I visit online. Pure Jesus – that’s what I want. It is what produces a pure heart, pure mind, pure doctrine, pure religion, etc. Purity of life comes from an unadulterated relationship with Jesus.