Saturday, July 28, 2007

Content with the Common

I don't know many people who like to think of themselves as settling. We all want to believe that we can get the best life has to offer, and although we may intellectually acknowledged that there will probably be some trade-offs and compromises along the way, we don't want to believe that life's treasures can't be ours. Who gets married not thinking that they are wedding their soul mate? Who purchases a car not believing that it will just what they expected? We are hard-wired to seek out and acquire the best and we convince ourselves that the things we do are in line with this proclivity.

Except when it comes to things of the spirit. For some reason, in this one area we tend to settle for less than everything. Maybe its because we know that to achieve the ultimate we have to get up all of ourselves: a scary proposition regardless of how sold-out you are. Maybe its because the topic is ethereal and we delude ourselves to think that we won't experience the side effects if we don't take it for all its worth. Maybe its because we don't life in holy fear of the consequences. Whatever the reason, it seems there are more people content to go to church and relegate discussions of the spirit to listening to a sermon from the pulpit than there are who would be willing to give up any Earthly luxury for a the same period of time. We put God in box because we are comfortable with Him being there. We can check Him off the list and move on to the things we understand, the things that can be defined, and the things that we can control. In other words, oftentimes with God we are content with the common.

The problem, of course, is that God is anything but common. When we try to define God we no longer experience Him. He is mystery and mystery can never be contained. When we don't approach His throne with awe, we lose the potential for Him to penetrate our lives and work His transformation. And that's why we come to God to begin with.

When our lives are focused on God, awe and wonder lead us
to worship God, filling our inner being with a fullness we
would never have thought possible. Awe prepares the way in us
for the power of God to transform us and this transformation
of our inner attitudes can only take place when awe leads us
in turn to wonder, admiration, reverence, surrender, and
obedience toward God.
... James Houston

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Better Things Ahead: Content with the Common

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Content with the Common