We may never resolve the tension between doing what we are called to do and the necessity of being who we are meant to be. We all know what we are called to do because our churches and culture have trained us to be effective do-ers. Most of us have a fairly significant list of what we are to be doing:
- make disciples
- heal or comfort the sick
- feed the poor
- love our neighbor
- reach out to nonChristians with love and good news
- worship, pray, meet together, break bread...
The challenge is that, at the end of the day, we begin to be believe that it is activities that make us Christians. This is why we are so quick to go about the business of building churches and church programs (even house churches with house church programs) rather than being about the business of just being--being with Christ--coming fully alive to who we are in him.
Let me just speak personally rather than preach platitudes. It is difficult for me, always and ongoing, to keep my focus on being--on being his child, on being his beloved, on being his church, on being intimate with the Creator. It is so much easier to get caught up in activities: set vision, motivate with good and godly strategies, move forward, do the work of ministry, care for people, etc, etc.
Wait a minute! Care for people? Focus on people? Isn't that the basics of being a Christian? We have learned to stop focusing on programs, after all, and concern ourselves with people! Isn't that what we are supposed to be doing?
I suppose I am saying yes and no. It is what I need and want to be doing. But I must always ask myself where are these activities flowing from. Am I full of Christ with a heart and life that is reating in him or am I full of activities because I am finding my identity and life in what i do? Do my activities flow out of a genuine intimacy with my Father or are they a substitute for that intimacy?
I think this is an excellent reflection for those of us who feel we have stripped ourselves down by seeking simple church gatherings and a genuine lifestyle Christianity. God will continue to strip us in every part of our life until we are naked before him, with a singular love, and a singular contentment to be just his. Then... our activities will flow out from our deeper encounters with his heart and his ways.
On the other hand... isn't there always an other hand? Activities are part of our calling as well. Sometimes we use the excuse of "becoming" to avoid the risk of stepping out into those things that we are made to do. Ah well, let the dance continue! This is, after all, the dance of the Christian truly seeking to live the lifestyle--24/7--with and for God.