Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Peace In Our World
Recently I received a letter from a colleague decrying the state of people's spirituality. The diatribe ran for 18 pages. Well intentioned, heart felt and sincere, also accurate to the point of causing considerable mental anguish. Tonight our body of Christ began one of the programs that(I'll call him Bob)Bob wrote me concerning. He wasn't specific about ours, just programs in general. I'm keeping what I like to refer to as an "open" mind, although mine is anything but! I realized that both of these occurrences in my life have simultaneously brought about the same emotional response. I want to search scripture and talk face to face with the person who is presenting the ideas whether it be on paper or on video tape. I can accept the faceless writers of the Bible. I can accept new thoughts and ideas when they are presented in an eyeball to eyeball manner, even on the telephone! What I have a hard time with is buying into someone else's "program" without the opportunity to have conversation with them. The words of a much loved man come to mind..."We work out our salvation with fear and trembling with the author and instigator of our faith, Christ!" Others can present ideas, personal thoughts, even share how they got there, but when the rubber meets the road the final confrontation is one on one between us and God. No person can stand in the gap for us. We can seek in the company of others the truth, but when it is found it is no longer a group thing. It is very personal and the most deeply spiritual experience we will ever encounter. I'm not setting aside the tools that are available to us. I'm also not suggesting that others are not helpful. What I am saying, Bob, is that no matter how we cut it nobody can do it for us and nobody can "make" it happen for someone else. It's a road we must travel alone. Before our bones were knit together in our mother's wombs God knew us, everyone of us. The choices "we" make during the course of this life determine our eternal fate. God loves us and is always there for us, but we must take the first step. That is how it is, and that is how it has always been, and how it must be. If we sojourn but for awhile together and are parted let it be with the knowledge that we shall be rejoined in eternity singing God's praises. Love ya brother! Be at peace. In Christ's Love, Preacher.