Saturday, December 26, 2009

Obligation, Application, and Fascination

Oh the perils of relationships. The newness and exhilaration of the beginning, the confusion and frustrations that can follow, and then being surprised by how fascinating and complex the other reveals them self each new day. Wrestling with the everyday, the monotony of a boring Thursday, and the pressure of a coming date. Everyone reminds you to treasure, to spend time with, and to be a good listener. Sometimes there is the feeling of obligation, that everyone is watching and you don't want to let them down. I don't want to feel obligated, I want to be fascinated! I just don't feel it today, so what do I do?

So goes my relationship with the Scriptures. I was so overwhelmed in the beginning, everything seemed new and fresh. At one point misunderstanding and confusion lead to a disconnect. The pendulum swings with study and intellect siphoning all the beauty and fascination out of the relationship. The pastoral occupation invites pressure of the, "Sunday is coming" mentality, or possibly Wednesday for the youth pastor. Still there are those moments where you can sneak away and have moments of quiet reflection and meditative bliss.

The relationship is far from perfect today, but I can say I have never been more in love. Now, confusion leads to questions, which leads to new discoveries, and that leads to a whole new experience of awe and wonder. There are times of raucous humor, moments of uncontrollable gratitude, and days where application is unavoidable with each small step. The more I understand that Scripture is not just historical but relational, I no longer see words but the character of the living God.

It's not about facts, it's about a Father.

I'm learning how to love better, because I'm learning from Love. The book of James puts it like this, "Do not simply listen to the word, but to do what it says." The word "listen" has it's roots in the word "Audit." If we were to audit classes in school we would learn for learning sake. You don't take any tests, or at least there isn't credit given at the end of the tests. So you learn for the sake of a big, fat brain. We don't audit scripture, we live and breathe it. It challenges and changes us from the inside out. This is a relationship that is growing, a relationship that seems to be renewed every single day!

This relationship has a foundation of COMMITMENT, no matter the highs or lows, we are interconnected and committed in love.

That we would inhale the Scripture and exhale the person of Jesus the Christ, who is for all the people.


Cara Maat said...

love this

Jeff Goins said...

Wow. I can definitely empathize with this. Have been going thru this for some time now.

Anonymous said...

Wally- The minute I read that you want to be "fascinated," I thought of my new favorite quote: "I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination." Shane Claiborne

Isn't that *so* true? Love Shane Claiborne! Hoping this year brings wonder, creativity, and days of fascination for you and your ministry team.

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