As a Christian the state of culture and the world do not overwhelm me. Well, we all have our moments, but I refuse to join the ‘Debbie downers’ who ignore the beauty all around. No, I am not saying all is ok, and I’m not saying just sit back and do nothing. I am saying: love, work for justice, work to bring heaven down to earth; out of a heart of gratitude. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have PEACE. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I am half way through a new book called messy spirituality by michael yaconelli. It is wonderfully refreshing. This book speaks to so much of what we have gone through over the past several years, and mirrors so much of what I have been learning through scripture. What perfect timing for this. 🙂
Messy spirituality may sound rather unspiritual, but as Yaconelli says, it is not a formula, a test, it is not about competency or perfection; it is about a relationship, intimacy, connection. It is not about being fixed; its is about God being present in the mess. The Bible over flows with examples of messy people. Spirituality isn’t about being finished and perfect; spirituality is about trusting God in our unfinishedness.
My son said something thought provoking the other day: “when radical love is met with rationalization, that’s a problem.” Radical love is impossible to rationalize. It is completely irrational. Jesus was irrational in the eyes of the religious elite in his day. He drove them crazy with “criticism of the ‘perfect’ religious people and his acceptance of the nonreligious people.” So, if Jesus is irrational, then I want to be irrational.
There were those present back then, as there are today, who know scripture “like the back of their hand, instead of knowing it in the front of their heart.” Instead of celebrating Grace they are ready to condemn if something doesn’t fit within their parameters. Religious people hiding behind religion is what can overwhelm, if allowed. A Christian ‘know it all’ should not exist. ‘I don’t know’ is a phrase we should be able to utter, if we accept the beauty and mystery of Christ. The essence of a spiritual life may be humility.