What is generally understood to be the act of “becoming” a Christian is a pretty simple process. Actually being a Christian? That part can get a little tricky. Especially, when as we’ve discussed before, we’re not necessarily all called to live our faith out the same way. Over the years, I’ve really taken that idea to heart… Which means that how I try to express my spirituality is in flux pretty regularly. Last week I said that a side effect of growing too near to Shalom is a nasty case of change… Both to who you are, and what you care about.
Lately I’ve been looking at the way in which I live out my faith. I think for a long time I focused on a lot of theoreticals… Big ideas and heady concepts. All the while, I ignored the practical application aspect of my beliefs. “I’m just not that kind of Christian”, I told myself. Because God is good, he still blessed my efforts. He showed me new things; the ideas and concepts I hungered for. But they were inert. It’s taken several years, but those ideas and concepts have finally traveled the eighteen inches from my brain to my heart and have begun to grow hands and feet. I’m questioning my faith less, and my behavior more.
God is pushing me to be a better person. I realize that seems vague, but it’s the truth. He’s not asking for me to move across the world, he isn’t asking me to stand on a corner and preach at passersby, he isn’t even asking me to read my Bible and pray more often. It seems, that right now, what God is asking of me is to care. Do something to make the world a better place. Donate some money. Make ethical shopping decisions. Take better care of my body. Get to know people. Love people. Love people intensely.
I recently stumbled over a documentary I can’t recommend highly enough. It’s called, “I Am” by Tom Shadyac. You might know Tom’s name as he was the director of Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, and a smattering of other films. His documentary talks about what convinced him to sell all his stuff and move into a mobile home. In the process, it asks the questions, “What’s wrong with the world?” and “What can we do about it?”
More and more I’m feeling like all God really and truly wants out of us is to love him, those around us, and his creation with relentless fury. How we go about doing that matters far less than the fact that it’s being done.