A few years ago someone asked, why are books on Buddhism more popular theses days then books on Christianity? The person asking the question, responded, I think its because Buddhism presents itself as a way of life, and Christianity presents itself as a system of belief. A way of life? Interesting…
The book of James in the NT has been monopolizing my study times in the past several weeks. Scott McKnight in his commentary on James wirtes, ” All his (James) rhetoric (the art of using language to persuade or influence) is intended to shape a community as an alternative to the “world” around him.” The message of James is to a community, its an intense call to live out the way of Jesus. This is a very basic sentence that doesn’t capture the entire scope of James, but it is a good start to a wonderful study on James.
Now it must be said that Christianity is both a way and a belief. Which is also a central focus of James…more on James in latter posts…A way of a life of faith? What does that look like? It’s different for everyone. Your relationship with the creator God and savior is going to look different than my relationship with God. We don’t love and follow a static dead god, we follow the living God who is alive, active and near. However there will be some similarities to our way of faith…
Can I suggest three?
1) Prayer. Not just at meals, but a flow of prayer that is with you throughout the day. Its constant. Its like when Jim and Pam (from the show the office) were apart and they purchased the worlds tiniest blue tooth device so they could be connected/talk all day long. God is there, connected to us, we simply have to recognize it in the flow of our daily lives.
2. Meditating on Gods word. There is no greater influence on our lives the the word of God. When we sit at the feet of God and allow him to speak over and into our hearts there is just something that happens to our souls. My buddy Jay told me this quote a few years ago and it has stuck with me , “The person you’ll be in five years will be primarily determined by the books you read and the people you associate with.”
3. Rest. A few years ago I was talking with a young super amazing young gal who was working through some hard stuff. It was clear that this young lady didn’t need a verse to memorize, or to be told to pray more, or go to Church more (which I would never say anyway)…this young lady needed rest. At some levels any kind of rest is good for the soul. But beyond a nap there is a rest that can only be found in the arms of our savior. When we wrap ourselves in his peace, and love and strength there is a deep peace, a subtle pause, a rest that lifts the burdens of life and renews.
CAUTION: For all you type A personalities or list makers, this is not a check list or a “to do” list. These three (or others) are simply a way of life that can grow organically into the rhythm of your life. CONFESSION: My favorite thing about gathering on Sunday morning is not the message or the music or even the people (although they are a close 2nd)…its the rest. I read, and think and meditate on God and who he is….and I just sit and rest… (Yes… that means I don’t pay attention…that much…shut up I’m with my God and its amazing!
A way of life in Christ…
Take a little time today before class, after class…during class and pray, or mediate on Gods word or simply rest