I have recently begun exploring my own passivity in my relationship with God, rather than active engagement. I don't set out to fall into a rut, and yet the "Christian Formula" is such an easy trap into which I fall victim. Go to worship on Sunday... attend a Sunday school class... join a prayer group... join the missions team... receive a daily devotional on your cell phone... All of these sound like solid ways of serving the Lord right? Well... I certainly won't say that these are not good ways to serve the Lord, and I do believe that "serving" the Lord is good. However, I sometimes forget to simply be in relationship with God. I have learned something from the inmates I minister with in the KAIROS prison ministry. There is a difference in the way I have approached the church experience, versus the way my bothers in white approach their church experience. One of the great freedoms and gifts offered in the message of the Gospel is that it's not always about the particular things we do, but its more about the mindset with which we do these things. For myself, I have often fallen into the trap of living out my faith in Jesus as a responsibility, an extra effort I must put forth in addition to all the other things in life I want to do or experience. This mindset even falls into the habit of looking at the responsibilities of my church experience as "offsetting" my short comings in "regular" life. And thus, I end up being caught between two identities. This is not usually a conscious choice, and certainly not an active one. I know that this is not the proper way to understand my faith, but none the less, this tends to be a place that my mind goes. when I have served in the prisons however, I get an up close look at men who have literally had everything taken from them, and they have little to nothing to loose. From them, I get a glimpse of what it looks like when a person sees their relationship with God as a true privilege, rather than an extra responsibility on top of my regular life responsibilities. The spiritual discipline I am currently exploring, is a sacrifice of my personal mindset, and a meditative attempt to slow down my serving, and reengage my relationship. One of my favorite phrases is, "I am a human-bering, not a human-doing." But when I fail to keep my relationship at the forefront of my mind, I slip into being a worker Bee, and it's in those moments that I fail to serve, and I being to slave for God. But remember, we are not slaves in Christ, we are free in Christ. When I serve, it must be out of desire, not compulsion.
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