Fear

I’m afraid. No, make that terrified. I have trouble sleeping. The fear comes over me in the middle of the day. I’m afraid for myself. I’m afraid for my children. I’m not afraid of gangs or theft. I’m not afraid of physical harm or even ridicule. I’m terrified of complacency. When I look out of my window, I see beautiful yards, large comfortable homes, nice cars, happy people. I’m afraid that I’ll start believing that everyone lives this way. I’m afraid that my kids already believe that. The fear is so great, that I’m going to have to do something about it. Because of my fear, I think I’m going to have to move. I think I might have to live in a neighborhood where things don’t look so nice, where things don’t smell, sound or feel very nice. But, at least it would be a better representation of the reality of our world. It might keep me and my children from just enjoying the things we have and forgetting to do something about all the people who don’t have the same opportunites. It might free me from this fear.

Change

I’ve been told “change is inevitable, so just be ready for it”. However, I’m visiting my hometown and have been told several times this week “you are just the same as I remember”, “you haven’t changed a bit”. I think it is supposed to be a compliment, but I’m starting to feel offended. I know that they can’t see all the changes within a 5 second encounter at the zoo or grocery store, but who are we kidding? We are all 20 years older, hopefully 20 years wiser and definitely carrying 20 years of experiences with us. Is change a negative thing in our society? The Bible promises change, encourages us to embrace change and challenges us to change. Are we fighting that change and missing out on the “transformation from glory to glory” that is associated with change in 2 Corinthians 3:18. Do I only embrace certain changes (added patience, wisdom gained from mistakes, etc) while fighting others (gray hair, redistributed figure, wrinkles)? Is that OK?

Christianity – do you wanna watch, participate, or pursue it?

School is soon to begin again and so I find myself reading more articles on teaching and learning in preparation for the coming year. According to several reputable sources in the teaching world, there are 3 levels of learning: watching, participating and pursuing. As you can imagine, watching is the easiest and least productive, participating is better and pursuing is best. As I read these articles, I couldn’t help but think about how they apply to Christianity and following Jesus. You can benefit from watching (or listening) to others while at church, in discussion groups (like this), and while with your friends and family…..but, not very much. A more productive approach would be to actually participate in Bible study, prayer, worshipping God, serving others, etc. However, by far, the best approach is to pursue God, Christianity and following Jesus. Pursuit implies passion, self-direction, immersing yourself, and heartfelt commitment. It implies perseverance and focus. It implies effort and enjoyment. You don’t pursue something that you don’t care about. So, the question to all of us is: which Christianity do you want – one you watch from the sidelines, one you participate in or one that you pursue with all your heart? Which Christianity do you currently live? To which Christianity does the Bible point?