The following exercise may seem simple and inconsequential. Try it anyway. See what it says about you.
With what adjectives would you describe the Christian life as you live it? Is it languid, intense, engaging, unengaged, robust, restful, reliable in times of need, repetitious?
Recently, I came across this sentence which brought me up short and made me stop to think:
Christian life is defined by verbs of movement.
Digging into the Scriptures, we find that this is so. Jesus and His disciples said these things and did these things. Here’s a sampling of biblical verbs of movement that help define our lives as believers. Others words of movement can be destructive, e.g. betray, destroy, desert, deny.
This week, see how these words of positive movement are present in your own life. Use them as a measure of the energy of faith in your life. Add to them. How do they square with the adjectives you used to describe your own life as a Christian at the beginning of this exercise.
ask seek find go come come back
turn return reconcile release repent walk heal bring listen move become bless
give give up receive gather love lift
know believe work awake stop share
leave anoint respect look look up visit
watch accept open close enter send
In a recent translation of the Lord’s Prayer from the Aramaic, one line is rendered
Free us from what holds us back.
- As we consider these biblical verbs of positive movement, which one’s do we recognize as part of our lives already?
- What holds us back from exercising all of them?
- Which ones name actions in our lives that are second nature to us?
- Which ones have we never considered part of our Christian experience?
- Which ones will help us live through the holidays with their challenges?
If you want to have an unusual conversation with a loved one/friend/colleague, do this exercise with them.