OH my goodness. DO forgive me for my tardiness in publishing our bookclub meetings. I’m still working out the details of this venture, plus I’m reading The Pilgrim’s Progress with our church’s bookclub, plus I’m reading The Excellent Wife with a bride-to-be, plus I’m blogging and pinning and sleeping and eating and raising three ragamuffins and watching “American Idol.” I will do my best to spit these out a bit faster in the future. In the meantime, go ahead and start reading Section 2 of the book if you are ready to do so – but please take time to share your comments or thoughts below and in the coming posts on Section 1!
~ a continuation of Meeting #2: our collective musings on section 1 (pp.1-42) ~
Winter 2007, Chapter 2 and 3 (pp.22-28): Reader, Beware: Life-Altering Prayer Ahead
“Why did I feel so dry?”
Many of us may be asking the same question. We go to church three times a week, we meet with small groups of believers, we pray for the lost, we raise our children in the fear and knowledge of God, we faithfully tithe and we read our Bibles every day (“we” meaning everyone but me…I’m still working on the Bible reading). Sometimes we even memorize the verses we read!
We have it all. We do it all. So…what’s missing?
Jen shares this quotation from Shane Claiborne: “I had gorged myself on all the products of the Christian industrial complex but was spiritually starving to death. I was marked by an overconsumption but malnourished spiritually, suffocated by Christianity but thirsty for God.”
I am so blessed to be a part of a fellowship and under the shepherding of a church and pastors who are diligently seeking the Word – we are slowly being changed drastically from what we were a decade ago – but I distinctly remember a time when my weeks were stuffed full of meetings and “ministries” and fellowships and conferences. My hands were busy, busy, busy, but underneath it all, my heart was confused, full of doubts and questions and painfully aware of what I was lacking. I admitted to myself – and only myself – very often that I just didn’t “get” Jesus – He confused me. He scared me. He threatened all the things I cherished most in my life. His call to leave everything to follow Him just didn’t match up with my devotion. But I got pretty good at ignoring this tension…
Until it became obvious to me that I really had to choose my Master.
Like, for real.
I’m still figuring out the implications of that choice.
Jen’s prayer “God, raise up in me a holy passion” resulted in a lifestyle revolution. It began with a flicker, she says…
And then in the next chapter, Jen catalogues the sacred meeting she had with the Spirit where God exposed her “devoted but selfish, committed but misguided” lifestyle and laid on her heart the ones who were literally starving while she spent her time “blessing blessed people and dreaming about (her) next house.”
That line really got to me. Not that blessing blessed people is a sin…not that dreaming about a house is a sin…but an entire lifespan devoted solely to ourselves, our kids, our education, our surroundings, our possessions, our church buildings, our circle of friends and our dreams while turning a completely blind eye to the suffering not only in the world but in our small town is what? A big fat sin.
Not to mention that fact that among the body of Christ, we have spent years munching on cotton candy and letting the richest feast of the unadulterated Word — that leads to church unity and discipleship and unconditional love — decay and crumble beneath our feet.
I don’t want to reside in gluttony anymore – I feel obese and spoiled and ready to turn my eyes outward. I want to be transparent with my the flock I am a part of, I want to love them forever, and I want to join hands with them and help change the world. God, give us grace. I am so excited about our future together.
Questions for thought or discussion:
Have you gorged on the Christian industrial complex? Have you been suffocated by an over-consumption of a man-made form of Christianity?
Have you overlooked the true feast?
Have you spent more time making plans for your own comfort than living a gospel-centered life?
~ mull it over or share below ~