Monday, November 10, 2014

An Exercise on Faith - Try it!

Dear friends,

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
                feed                      touch                   

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.