Saturday, April 24, 2004

My family and I traveled down to Orlando last night by plane. We’re here visiting her brother and his wife (and spending just a tad of money at Downtown Disney[thanks, Walt]).

Anyway, on the plane, I noticed myself doing something that I feel like is indicative of a lot of my spiritual walk. I’m reading Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christian right now and once Sheryl, Kinsey, and I got on the plane, I pulled it out and started reading. No big deal in and of itself, but I noticed in particular the way I held it. Up in front of my face. Ok, not really a big deal on that part either, but we were on the left side of the plane and the cover of the book wasn’t showing. And I was disappointed for a split second that no one (besides Sheryl) would be able to see me reading the book. Although most of Christendom isn’t very aware of it right now, I know that “the cool people” are aware of it and as a result would respect me or think better of me because I’m reading it.

I’ve always been a conforming non-conformist. I’ve found people that I like and respect and change my views accordingly. Most of these people are non-conformists, so as a result, I’ve generally taken the road less traveled, but by following someone else.

I went to Belmont Church because that was where my dad was and I wanted to rebel against my mom and stepdad.

I’m reading A New Kind of Christian because others have recommended it to me.

Maybe I’m being a little unfair to myself. Maybe God is using other people to get through to me and I need to recognize His work through them to get to me. Maybe He’s working on my heart to prepare me for something else, a deeper following of Jesus. All the conversations I’ve had over the last three months have been God’s hand working and pushing me to stretch my faith.

One last thing. I had a very interesting conversation with my sister-in-law today about faith. I told her that I didn’t think she and my brother in law had left Christianity. They’d left a version of Christianity that was useless to them. It was one where you went to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, not because you felt a reason to, but because you were checking off your church duty for the week. You judged people because you were right and they were wrong and it was your Christian duty to point that out to them. I think that’s why a lot of people walk away from Christianity. They don’t see a life-changing faith. They see a social club of people who are trying to keep out anyone who doesn’t agree with them on every jot and tittle. God calls us to community and He calls us to love.

Well, it’s getting late for such ramblings. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be more lucid, but don’t count on it.

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