I-Monk is one of my favorite bloggers. Last week he had a post with the sub-title What Many Of Us Are Looking For. This is what he said.
We long to be human beings, fully alive to who we are, to God, to one another and to all that being made in the image of the incarnated God means.
We long for beauty, for multiple expressions and experiences of beauty.
We long for relational and emotional connection; to know we are not alone; to love and be love; to be heard and to hear our human family.
We long for worship to engage the senses, the body, the whole personality. We long for mystery, not explanation. We long for symbolism, not just exposition. We long for a recognition of what it means for God to be God and for each of us to be human, not for more aspirations to know as much as God and instructions on how to be more than human.
We long for Jesus to come to us in every way that life comes to us, and not just in a set of propositions.
We long for honesty about the brutal pain and disappointments of life, and we long to hear the voices of others experiencing that brokenness.
We are tired of the culture of lies that Christians perpetuate in their fear that someone will know about the beer in the fridge, the porn on the computer, the affair, the repeated abuse, the unbelieving child, the nagging doubts, the frightening diagnosis and the desperate fears.
We long for a spirituality of stillness, contentment and acceptance in the place of spiritual competition and wretched urgency. We have grown weary and sick of being “challenged” to do more, be more committed, more surrendered, more holy by our own energy.
We long for prayer that is not a means to accomplish things, bring miracles, generate power, impress the listener. We long for the depths of spirituality, not the show of being spiritual.
We long to be loved, to be quietly accepted, to be told to lie down in green pastures, to stop the race, to pray in silence. To be given a spirituality of dignity, not a spirituality that is a feature of this week’s sermon series on how to have more sex, make more money, have better kids, smile more, achieve great things and otherwise turn the salvation of Jesus into a means to an American end.
We long to understand the spirituality of those whose religion does not drive them crazy. We long to know the Bible’s message and then be free to live it. We want to be lifted up, not beaten down. We hope for a simple spirituality, not an exciting, never-before-experienced high from the show.
One of the sentences that jumped out for me was this one. “We long for prayer that is not a means to accomplish things.” That sentence says a lot about us as followers of Jesus. I wonder if we will ever love God for who He is?