Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ruminations (of the Spirit?)

It's already January 8th and I have no New Year's resolutions. I'm not really a yearly resolution guy. As I continue to grow and backslide in my faith. Yes, I wish I could say I was on a linear upward projection in Quadrant I of the x-y axis, but in reality it's more like a trip to Six Flags. In this divine dance, we call life, I'm discovering God is far less interested in my "achieving" as he is in my "becoming." I've learned spiritual accomplishments are more about me than him. resolutions for me. Instead, I've been trying to discern the Spirit's voice..."What areas of my life need to become?" Discerning the Spirit is not science. Sometimes it is hard to tell if the Spirit is talking or if it is the overdose of salsa. So...I figure if the message I'm sensing makes me uncomfortable, it is probably the Spirit.

This is a list of my spiritual ruminations for far. It's too much to chew in one bite. Not sure where to start. Not sure if it is all from the Spirit. Some of it seems contradictory...but all of these things are stirring my soul. This is pretty random!

  1. Love your city! I'm hearing this both in my personal life and in my church leadership life. Scary, because I think it begins with praying for my city, but eventually it will lead to investing my time and energy in my city. I don't have time...which means shifting my schedule, re-prioritizing my "to do" list, and sacrificing some things I want to do.
  2. Starve your appetites! Sounds a lot like fasting. My physical appetites consume so much of my mind-space and energy...everything from food, fitness and sex. All are great and God-given for our enjoyment (and most everything in between), but many of these natural desires easily become idols. Not sure what to do with this one and not excited about some of the implications.
  3. Make time for people! I run a tight schedule from the moment I get up until about 9 PM. I throttle in 5th -gear, which means I often miss out on people. This becomes even more challenging since I'm an introvert and need some "me time" (sometimes a lot).
  4. Simplicity! I know this is the Spirit because he tells me this every year. At first it seems to fly in the face of all the other holy nudges, but I'm beginning to believe it is the fertile ground that allows all the other "stirrings" to grow. The question I always have, "How far do I go?"
  5. Talk about Sin! The Spirit speaks this into my preaching and pastoral life. I'm convinced I need to talk more about sin, repentance and holiness. We tend to ignore both the vertical and horizontal destruction our sin causes. 
  6. What is the modern "Oikos?": Oikos is the Greek word for "household." In the New Testament it refers to the patriarch, his wife, children, and servants. It served as the most effective form of evangelism in the First Century. When the head of the household converted, the rest of the family followed suit. Is there a modern day equivalent to the "Oikos," not necessarily the family, but effective ways to engage communities of people with the good news of Jesus?
I write this to encourage those of you whose journey with Jesus is more of dance than a march. I pray God will give you discernment as your ruminations turn to action. Happy New Year....a bit late.

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