Archive for June, 2003

I heard a quote that struck a deep, resounding chord within me while I was watching The Dead Poets Society. It sounded like something I wanted to do…NO, needed to do… longed to do; yet had never really learned how to do. Now that we are taking an offramp and learning to be more intentional students of Jesus, I hope to spend time learning the art of living deliberately, and living well, the life that God has called us to. (John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.)

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to “glorify God and enjoy him forever.””
Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Okay, I realize that Thoreau was not a Christian, but he did have some passionate ideas about living life. Now let us insert LIFE (the true, eternal, God knowing LIFE. The LIFE Jesus spoke of in John 10:10, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full) I want to live and know that LIFE deliberately. I want to live out only the essential facts of that LIFE. I want to learn what it has to teach. I do not want to learn, when I come to die, that I have not lived LIFE. I do not wish to live what is not LIFE. I want to put to rout all that is not LIFE
(See Colossians 3) I don’t want to live based on hasty conclusions (nobody should) I want to let the true things have a chance to “seep deep”, (as my friend Mark would say).
Colossians 3:16 says Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
I like that Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… hasty conclusions cannot dwell in you richly, Can they?

I am afraid that I will fail in my attempts to live deliberately. Just like all the New Year’s resolutions that never stuck or the diets that worked …for a few months only, I am afraid that I don’t have the persistence or initiative to live deliberately every day.

That is why I am so glad to have a community to urge me on. They will remind me that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. They will help me by being my “one-anothers” and doing the one-anothers that the bible teaches us to do. It is so good to know that my formation will be their concern also. But most of all I know that the Spirit of God is at work in me. To the praise and Glory of God!

I was just reading an article in Christianity Today (December 9,2002) by Evan Howard. This article is about spiritual formation. I found it to be very informative. Towards the end of the article Mr. Howard states that, “Christian spiritual formation aims at conforming all of life (thought, feeling, word, and deed) to the life of Christ. My hope,” he says, “is to hate sin as Christ does, to treat the outcast the way Christ does, to regard God the Father the way Christ does, and, yes, to heal as Christ does.” ……. Ah yes, that sounds like LIFE.

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