The past few insane weeks have demanded a certain overdeveloped interest in rest in order to recover a certain kind of sanity and control. I find that the thing I truly crave is the space to explore whatever is going on in my head and simultaneously, the space to find something to explore in depth. Regardless of whether this is some odd hobby/random
goose Google chase or something quite profound, it matters not.
Life in my head is exciting, it’s easy, it’s malleable and realistically I’m a better person when it’s just me dealing with me or with imaginary scenarios. I am more eloquent, I am older, I am more sophisticated. I’m better at living life for God in my head, my attitude is cleaner, my theology clearer.
I found myself sitting on the train – a somewhat decent place to think, although I’m generally too tired or too busy eavesdropping – wishing that I could just do it all in my head. It has been a few too many days so I cannot recall the exact contextual stimulus but I think that it related to reflection on my generally less than positive attitude towards most things.
I never did share properly about what went on at Forge, but there was a fairly significant session for me of networking with others around a common ‘second place’ – university. I was challenged inadvertently through the stories of others and their ‘struggle’ to live out their faith in such a rich and real setting.
To be starkly honest I’m fairly crap at talking about ‘God stuff’ in the university context. I’ve had very, very few friends that haven’t had some kind of Christian background. God came up a little bit at Deakin, but usually in the utter crushing of RE (Religious Education) in schools. So much so that I now think pretty lowly of it.
So, a new University. Post thought, I wanted to be really honest. When something matters you talk about it. When you have an opinion on almost anything else, you voice it. I am utterly in love with the Creator of the Universe and I struggle (for that is the word) to let it show. That’s generally marked as a battle when we look at in the verbal within our so called Christian lives. Not to entirely squash self-encouragement because I managed to have quite a decent conversation with a girl I hang out a fair bit with about church and what I think about giving but I think that it as an issue also translates fairly heavily for me less as action but more into attitude. I am not a very positive person and when I really stop and think about it, a slight feasible exaggeration could hardly match what I’ve got ‘going for me’ and less selfishly, all that is right and God given and grace inspired. Why don’t I live like I’ve discovered something wonderful that dictates so much of how I hope I approach life?
After my, “It’s a wonderful life in my head” thoughts, I rocked up at homegroup. John had an assignment paper he had to share and so talked about living faith within the context of experiential education. I was challenged through the section in Luke that talks about how a tree bears fruit and is recognised by it’s fruit… I’d happened to be reading it recently. Fruit? Good fruit? Where?
The overflow of gratefulness of the presence of grace within our lives should drive us to integrity, self denial, trust and a desperation in chasing Christ and living in his likeness. Perhaps even a certain kind of joy?
I live very tamely. My adventures happen mostly where it is safe around nice Christian people, online or in my head where it is also safe.
It’s that whole old, worn and tired, over quoted ‘faith without works is dead ‘from James. Don’t let it be old.
“Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon… it is the power to press on in obedience” (The Pleasures of God – John Piper)
“It is a fuller function of faith that it honors him whom it trusts with the most reverent and highest regard, since it considers him truthful and trustworthy… So when the soul firmly trusts God’s promises, it regards him as truthful and righteous… When this is done, the soul consents to his will. Then it hallows his name and allows itself to be treated according to God’s good pleasure for, clinging to God’s promises, it does not doubt that he who is true, just and wise will do, dispose, and provide all things well.
Is not such a soul most obedient to God in all things by his faith? What commandment is there that obedience has not completely fulfilled?… This obedience, however, is not rendered by works but by faith alone.” (Martin Luther)
I wonder how really real I am about some of the God stuff sometimes. So much goes on in my head. So much should be translated into life, into action, into word, into attitude and it gets sadly left behind.
We don’t chase the areas where we are required be courageous. We don’t chase truth out loud, we chase it in quiet where it does little harm but also little good.