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Inspiration

August 14, 2009 1 comment

I haven’t written anything in a while, so I thought I’d get back at it for a little bit.  Usually, when I pen thoughts on this blog, there is something in life that has stirred my thoughts.  Some might say I’m inspired, though I, myself, would venture more in the direction of reacting.  So, the unique element of this post is I’ve neither been inspired nor am I reacting.  This is new ground for me, yet I’ll venture on none-the-less.

It’s interesting how the seasons of life often go unnoticed.  And not only the seasons of life, but they rhythms of our existence carry on without us giving a second glance.  Here’s what I mean.  I apologize ahead of time that most of this is probably contained in earlier posts, but something in my gut prods me to think that the things that show up most often in our lives and our thoughts are probably higher on the scale of importance.

I spoke a moment ago about rhythms.  I’ve chosen this word carefully because rhythms, unlike other synonyms such as ruts, or routines, or normality invoke a much more positive tone.  That’s not to say that some of our rhythms aren’t negative or destructive, I just feel like in an effort to describe our existence and participation on, and apart of, this planet, it’s time we begin painting a bit more positive a picture with our words.  Specifically today, words that describe the structures and foundations of who we are as a people.

As the incoherence of this post continues to build, I’m just going to pretend I’m oblivious.  We’ve been having an ongoing conversation with the kids in our youth group about this idea that Christianity has become nothing more than a watered down, boring list of things we aren’t supposed to do.  We’ve been very hard pressed to find this mysterious list of things we aren’t supposed to do.  Here’s what we have found.  In the story of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given the garden.  Everything in the garden was theirs, accept for one tree.  I fear that we’ve spent our entire Christian existence focusing on that one tree; the one thing we couldn’t have.

The folly of that narrow vision is we’ve totally forgotten about the entire rest of the garden.  I would argue the same is true today.  For those of us who label ourselves as Christians, without batting an eye, we could rattle off a whole list of things we are “forbidden” to take part in.  Here’s the crazy part; we’d have to sit down, labor and grit our teeth to come up with the things we can do.  With that in mind, we’ve been spending a good portion of our summer exploring some ways in which we can make a difference, right here, right now.  You’ll remember from earlier posts, I don’t believe the call of a Christian is to place all of our hope in the place we call heaven.  We participate with God in redeeming this world, alleviating suffering now, standing against injustice.  Jesus said, “blessed are the peace-MAKERS.”  We don’t sit around and wait for better things to happen, we are people get up off our tails and make better things happen.

This is not tooting our own horn, but here are some of the things we’ve been talking about and doing with our kids this summer.

• some youth groups get summer t-shirts.  We got our from Tom’s.  So, for every t-shirt we bought, Tom’s gave a pair of shoes to someone in Africa.  Check out their story at tomsshoes.com.

• check out the movie Food Inc. and King Korn for some interesting info about the food we eat.

• skirt over to takepart.com for more info on some of the issues that our world, this place where we live, participate in and plunder, is facing.

All this to say, it’s time for us to move past the energy-sucking practice of not doing things and move toward the life giving, life changing, God partnering work of living and making choices to create a better world now.  It’s time to live and breathe.  It’s time to embrace rhythms of change, of justice and of bearing the image of the ground, the foundation of all being, God, to a world that doesn’t want to know about him, but see him standing with and for those who suffer.

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