Life by Grace

JOIN ME IN MY JOURNEY PERMEATED BY THE GRACE OF GOD. "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me." I Corinthians 15:10

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Barbarian Way

I was looking forward to spring break to be able to get away and get refreshed. God has blessed me by answering that desire with time to spend with family and friends, time to think by myself, and a time to read, giving more food for thought. In the last month or so before I left for spring break, I have realized more and more how I have been getting sucked into a mindset of nagging frustration and being overwhelmed with all that God has wisely been orchestrating in my life. I had a hard time consistantly seeing it that way though. I know it is true, but it is a battle to live in that reality throughout the day.

I am presently still on spring break in Allegan, MI at my Aunt Karla's house...alone. She is at work all night on 3rd shift as a nurse. I have had time to really think over many things that God has been challenging me with in the last 6 days. God started right off by opening up the opportunity for me to stay at a friend's house who I haven't seen in about 5 years or so. Kelly lives in Charlotte with her daughter, Leigh. I needed a place to stay there overnight on Friday because my flight took off Saturday morning at 6am. On the way to the airport, Kelly and I got to talking and before I left Kelly gave me a book called "The Barbarian Way" by Erwin Raphael McManus. Here is an quick glimpse from the back of the book to give you an idea of what it is about.

"Two thousand years later the call to follow Christ has been repackaged to be smooth and trouble-free, filled with opportunity and promise but lacking risk, passion, and sacrifice. Is this really what Jesus died for? If He chose the way of the cross, where would He hesitate leading us? Is it possible that to follow Jesus is to choose the barbarian way? Jesus never made a pristine call to a proper and safe religion. Jesus beckons His followers to a path that is far from the easy road. It is a path filled with adventure, uncertainty, and unlimited possibilites -- the only path that can fulfill the deepest longing and desires of your heart. This is the barbarian way: to give your heart to the only One who can make you fully alive. To love Him with simplicity and intensity. To unleash the untamed faith within. To be consumed by the presence of a passionate and compassionate God. To go where He sends you, no matter the cost."

It has sent my thoughts racing. I have grown up in the buckle of the Bible belt where Christianity is so structured and pretty. Much of it has lost its fire to live a life that isn't ashamed to passionately live for Christ even if I do resemble Mary at Jesus feet who poured out oil on his feet. She cried on his feet and wiped his feet with her hair. She didn't stop kissing His feet from the time that she arrived. It may resemble John the Baptist who wandered around the wilderness in animal skins and ate locust and honey. He wasn't refined as the "religious" people of his day assumed a passionate follower of Christ should look like. But if John the Baptist was who God chose to prepare the way for Jesus' coming than what should those coming after Christ look like? McManus poses in the book that because of the sterotype that people today put with the label "Christian" that He would rather be called "a passionate follower of Christ. " I whole-heartedly agree with him. I claim that too. It is as if the life has been sucked out of the disciples that God send out to reflect Him. McManus says Christianity has been "domesitcated and sophisticated." We don't just leap out on faith driven by a love for God to do what God has called us to do no matter the cost. I don't want to live like that anymore. Will you join me in my adventure on the unpaved road?

1 Comments:

  • At April 18, 2006 3:59 AM, Anonymous jblaha said…

    How true! Oh, how true! This is the pursuit that I'm finding is the way of true Christianity. Paul said that it is the power unto salvation. What depth those words are. You know me, Eunice. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not "passionate" about anything. I have hobbies. I have things that I enjoy doing; but since Christ has allowed me to see the true hope of Christ, there is nothing that has given me more strength and power and hope than the grace of God through salvation. It's amazing! I say none of this to my own account, but it has only been through the mercy and drawing of God that has brought me to the love that I now have. Thank you for presenting such a powerful message to such an apathetic and complacent world. May God be praised!

     

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