Friday, August 21, 2009
Spiritual Formation is a Grind
It is the daily grind that God gives a person polish. There will be times that we taste of the difficult path, but that doesn't mean that it isn't based on a wonderful motivation with a heavenly future. Likewise, those wonderful moments we might enjoy serve to remind us of God's grace and are often best enjoyed after we've been on an authentic path to get there. It's odd, but even knowing that the journey on this side of heaven is difficult can increase our trust in Christ - for we get to see how He is persevering through the adventure with us.First of all - do you think of yourself needing to be polished? What a marvelous metaphor! We were shaped a long time ago. It is not shape that God is now rendering in us, but polish. We are human, we are being made beautifully human.
Yet we seem to be so satisfied with being merely human. Is it becasue the step is such a "grind?" I think perhaps it is.
The appeal of Evangelicalism is because it is sort of the "big bang" telling of the Christian tale. You were a sinner, now you are not. But God is an artist - He has so much more mind. Many of us as young people had a book case that looked something like this. It was cheap, it was easy, it worked. But it was plain (If not ugly in some cases), often unstable, and somehow just immature.
We grow up to, hopefully, have nicer things. Something that requires a bit more craftsmanship and effort. Some very young friends of ours are getting married and I decided to build them a bookcase as a wedding present. I was 60 hours into the job before I even considered how to apply finish, etc. The old brick and board well, that takes about 10 minutes. But the results!
I think Jesus is shooting for beauty not functionality.