Note: This is a continuation of chapter two of my Irrelgious Follower book which I am writing here as posts in order to incorporate your comments and thoughts. The first parts of this chapter are found here and here.
I confess it openly. I often just want someone to spell out what the rules are around here. For example, I adore my wife. But sometimes I long to reduce our relationship to a set of fixed routines and actions: “Just tell me what the rules are so that I can keep the peace and keep you happy,” is part of what my lazy inner-self is saying. But, it’s a relationship. Those things that cause us to connect at a deeper level today, will not provide the exact same result tomorrow.
Arrggg! The unpredictability, and thus the adventure, of relationships.
Yet it is this very movement and fluidity within real relationships that make them so dynamic, alive, real, heart-filling or heart-crying, fulfilling and/or frustrating all at the same time. Let’s get real here. Who would exchange a relationship with a person for a robot?
Yet how often we do that very thing with God. Part of us wants Him to be a mechanical dispensing machine, a vendor in heaven, One who hands out predictable answers in response to our specific actions or prayers. “If I do this, I expect God to do that.”
This is precisely the problem religious people had with Jesus. He did not fit the predictable box they wanted to keep God in. Since God established the Sabbath as ‘law’ there is no way that this same God would tell His disciples to harvest grain to eat or heal a sick man on a Sabbath day. No way. It could not happen! But it did.
I believe that God Himself is initiating a new breakout from the mores and traditions of religion today. It’s time. The church has become passive, sleepy, and bland while sustaining itself by keeping up the predictable routines and rules that define their Christian righteousness.
More importantly, Jesus surely longs to express Himself in new, fresh, and powerful ways as His followers are willing to actively engage in relationship with Him regardless of the cost.
A friend of mine recently showed me a book on rock climbing where he was listed as one of the first adventurers who climbed a particular difficult route on a particular mountain. “Wow,” I said. “I had no idea that you were such an avid and accomplished rock climber.”
“Well actually,” he replied, “I haven’t climbed now for almost thirty-five years. When I married my wife I felt that it was not right for me to continue to risk my life in that way.”
I appreciated this and I’m sure his wife did as well. In fact, it was probably very prudent.
But in the spiritual realm, do we give up the very adventure Jesus called us to with excuses that are not prudent, but lazy and comfort-driven?