I’ve read a lot of religious books.
Specifically, I’ve read a lot of Christian books. (Can a book really be Christian? When did it convert?)
When I think of the authors of these books, I think of what faithful, interesting lives they lead. In order to write about God, I tell myself, you have to first be walking with God, talking with God, hearing him call you his own.
So as I sit here on the third floor loft of this 115 year old Michigan home, watching the wind whip snow through the street, I wonder how I could ever write about God. I don’t tour the country like Rob Bell, teaching people about how everything is spiritual. I haven’t sold a million copies of books like Lauren Winner. I don’t give away 90% of my income like Rick Warren.
In a sense I know this is OK. It’s unhealthy to compare yourself to others; everyone has their own thing, their own unique ministry and individual life. I know better than to get into the comparing game because even if I win, I lose.
But I can’t help but wonder about the seemingly large gap between myself and these other people. Perhaps it’s my grass-is-greener mentality coming through.
I’m looking out my window at a tree, an Indian restaurant, an ATM, a coffee shop. Where is God? Shouldn’t I be talking to him? Shouldn’t I be listening to him? Shouldn’t I go into the neighborhood and talk to people about the love of God?
Can I know God, worship God, have a meaningful life, a meaningful evening, a divinely-soaked experience here and now? In this ordinary life?
I subscribe to RELEVANT MAGAZINE (God. Life. Progressive Culture.), which arrives every two months. The last subscription I had was to Sports Illustrated, and that was over 10 years ago, so I thought it would be nice to have a magazine delivered to my home every month or two. And $15 for two years isn’t a bad deal.
While reading RELEVANT (why is it in all capital letters? I feel like I’m yelling) I often get new thoughts stirring in my mind, so I thought I’d allow those thoughts to spill over onto thirtythousandpeople.wordpress.com. (the number of $1 donors has hit a plateau at 6). The first mind-stirring thought comes from Issue 24: Jan_Feb2007 in an interview with Rob Bell (as well as Mark Driscoll, Lauren Winner, Rick Warren, and Erwin McManus). Part of Bell’s answer to the question, How should Christians be involved in the political realm? is this:
In our city they’re shutting down community pools because they say there isn’t funding for it. So there are all these kids, especially in the urban center of Grand Rapids, who won’t be able to swim in the summer. We think that would piss Jesus off. For us it’s not right that on one side of town they’re building pools and on the other side of town they’re shutting them down. That’s an injustice. We think Jesus is about pools.
Is Jesus really about urban kids getting the chance to swim in the summer, or is he more interested in somebody knocking on the door of their house in August and telling them that Jesus offers eternal life so they can go to heaven instead of hell when they die? It all depends on your view of hell, heaven, eternity, justice, and Jesus.
I was tagged by Art Boulet (pictured right) .
1. I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.
2. I’ve never read “The Purpose-Driven Life” but from the articles I’ve read by Rick Warren, I think he’s a pretty righteous dude.
3. I’ve been to China, Brazil, Kosova, Mexico, and Canada. I like to travel but have no interest whatsoever in going to Western Europe. I’d go the Middle East before I go to Europe.
4. One time I woke up with a bat trying to crawl into my mouth. I was in my bedroom.
5. I had heard a lot about “Pride and Prejudice” a few years ago, so one day my roommate and I decided to watch the British DVD version. All 6 hours of it. When it was over my roommate asked me what I thought. I looked at him and without hesitation said that a better use of those 6 hours would have been to sit in the corner of a dark closet and pronounce the letter “o” as many ways as possible; this would have been more entertaining and intellectually stimulating. It actually made me visibly upset that people enjoyed the story, and it provided much support for the “T” in “TULIP”.
I don’t know if many people read this blog, so I tag the first three people who see this. C’mon, don’t be yellow.