Thought of the Day: "The Journey"


Sometimes I wonder if "The Journey" of Christianity is just an excuse for us, Christians,  not to get our hands dirty and take this thing seriously...

I mean, if everything is always a journey then their is no time-frame on arrival. Arrival is a goal, but spiritual journeys allow for a cheap grace to manifest our lives. It is a grace we extend ourselves and others in not expecting anyone to do anything except travel.

Also, I am fairly sure that there are infinite things in Christianity that require a long-term journey mind-set.

But... just bear with me... what if this shallow grace isn't something Jesus is interested in giving? Don't get me wrong, Jesus is infinitely grace-giving, but what if there are areas he doesn't give or accept this shallow grace? For instance:
  • We pray the Lord's prayer and we ask God to forgive us as we forgive others... Is this something we mean? Does this need a journey? Is this forgiveness something we need to grow up into or is Jesus serious about this now?
  • We are to be marked with a love for our neighbors that is like the way we love and take care of ourselves? Do we even know our neighbor's name? Do we have any intention of taking this command serious now or ever?
  • We are not to worry about tomorrow but do at every instance of our lives? When shall we cease to worry about tomorrow? Tomorrow? When I am older?
  • When will stop storing up treasures on earth and serving two masters? Do ever really intend to take this seriously or is this something we relegate to the future, after retirement, or even further into the world of the ideal?
More than these instant commands that Jesus expects of his followers now, does our ideal of church and being a Christian destroy the reality that is now? Dietrich Bonhoeffer says in "Life Together" that our ideal of Church will crush the present reality of being family in Christ. If we have an ideal and try to force it that way, towards a goal, do we love Christ or really ourselves and are we really faithful to the reality of being family through Christ instantly upon conversion?

Bonhoeffer has an amazing point about community but I am taking it more personally. Does our ideal of what it means to be a Christian destroy the present reality of what it means to be a Christ-follower? We are children of the King (John 1), indwelt with the presence of God in the Holy Spirit, more than conquerors through Him who loves us (Romans 8). Surely we can live in that reality, obeying Christ through his strength.

What a miserable existence it is to dwell in some idea or future notion really never achieving anything except the overlooking of present realities. "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today... ‘Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!" (Jesus, Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6-7).

Do we hear the words and act or do we hear and wait for some ambiguous time in the future where we think we will be mature enough to do?

And, ultimately, let us encourage eachother forward with infinite patience and grace as we all figure out what it means to be a disciple. We can't be doing nothing but we don't have to be perfect. Wrestling, experiencing, dwelling and trying are all great places to be!

What do you think? Am I too harsh on journeying or is it time to get our hands dirty?

Blessings and Peace!

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