No ice, no flame
No place to stand
No one to blame
No ice, no flame
Rescue me, rescue me
From the inbetween
I’ve noticed a trend over the past few months. Everything has become “okay.” One week blends seemlessly into the next and the passage of time is the most remarkable quality of my days. I’m moving toward a goal, but the path has been bland.
I’m not alright with leading an “okay” life. My days haven’t been characterized with glaring sins, but my time has been filled with more socially acceptable ones. I’ve been coasting along at less than what God has for me.
Jesus said He came that we might have life and have it “to the full.” The cup of my life has not been running over.
What do I want my life to look like? I have learned over the past weeks that I don’t want to lead a self serving existence. That may be comofrtable, but it’s also boring and pointless.
Neither do I want to err on the opposite extreme. There was a time when I embodied the happy cheesy Christian image. I went through the ritualistic purging of my CD collection. (Sister Hazel, out. Jennifer Knapp, in. Limp Bizkit, out. FFH, in. Needless to say, these weren’t all wise decisions.) I bottled up my struggles because “God would take care of it.” Though that’s true, I wasn’t entirely real in my relationship with Him or with others.
During that period, I learned a lot and grew spiritually. But my focus was still inward in many ways. I think that may have been part of why I wanted to join staff with Campus Crusade. It may have helped me, to some degree, avoid the corporate power struggle that quickly makes me forget my faith.
Now, I want balance.
I’m re-reading my favorite book, Finding Common Ground: How to Communicate with Those Outside the Christian Community… While We Still Can (Tim Downs). In the chapter on Christians in the workplace he asks, “What in the world does a Christian auto mechanic look like?” His point is that the Bible doesn’t prescribe action points for each possible vocation, but as Christians, our faith should be reflected in our work.
So what does a Christian auto mechanic look like? Maybe he’d be like the gentleman at Firestone Tires who is helping me find a new wheel for my car. (Long story.) It isn’t this man’s responsibility to find me a part and save me a couple hundred dollars. All I asked him to do was put new tires on my car!
Moreover, what does a Christian journalist look like? My faith and ability may carry me to a publication that seeks to combine the two. But they may not, either. That doesn’t mean my faith is irrelevant to my work.
I’ve had some opportunity to see the two interact at my present internship. Recently I wrote an article about a ministry. In doing so, I was challenged to use language that did not betray my worldview while writing to a “secular” audience.
That’s a small example, but an easy illustration of how God works at my job. The words I use are read by tens of thousands; heaven forbid I inadvertently rule out the power of prayer in the ministry’s work by careless word choice.
Maybe that doesn’t make sense to you–maybe it would seem more logical with the story in front of you. Be assured that I am not abusing my position to evangelize the city. That’s not within the magazine’s editorial mission and would be sloppy “journalism.”
Instead, I see it as my responsibility to avoid contradicting the possibility of God with my words. I don’t think you would guess from the article that I’m a Christian. But neither do I think you’d conclude that I don’t believe in God.
So I’ve spent four paragraphs of your time harping on the selection of a single word in a magazine filled with thousands of them. My point is this: I don’t want to fly below the spiritual radar. I don’t want to be one of those people I always hear stories about–people who get so caught up in their car, house, family that those responisbilities consume them. I don’t want to live for God for an hour on Sunday and merely give Him lip service during the week’s remainder.
I want to see God’s presence and live for His role in my every move. I want to see Him radically change me and those I know.
That probably doesn’t demand going into Christian service as a full time vocation, in my case. It may mean devoting myself full time for a period of my life. (I’m still praying about that/playing with that idea.)
All I know is the Christian life isn’t meant to be bland.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10b