I’ve seen several posts/articles recently focusing on “being.” The consensus is that we have a hard time “just being” in our world of media and busyness. These people emphasize the need to find peace and contentment in the present. I can relate to their position. I yearn for a peace and calm in life in the midst of chaos, uncertainty, and struggle. The words of Jesus echo in my mind: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” (John 14:27a)
But I also hear and read about productivity and change. The call echoes to translate the gospel message in a language that a new generation can hear and understand. I hear denominational leaders crying out for new ideas that will resonate with people who don’t believe in God or who don’t care.
And I feel torn. Do we find peace and contentment where we are in the arms of our savior, or do we find passion to move from the place where we are (and have been for years) to find a new land that God has promised us?
In recent days I’m come to understand it’s both. I am convinced that the life of a Christian is a life of constant discernment, growth, and evolution. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the same, but I am different. The world is different.
My two daughters (ages 2.5 and .5) constantly amaze me. Both of them are growing and changing every day. The oldest is developing new language skills that blow my mind. She speaks with more clarity and confidence with each passing minute. She “teaches” my wife and I new games that she creates. Questions bubble out of her like a geyser. The world is something for her to understand. The younger wants to touch, feel, taste, and see everything. She spins around to find another new item she has yet to study to her satisfaction. Now I know that I must evolve with them in order to help them in their development.
Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children you will never enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 18:3) What characteristic of children does Jesus wants us to emulate? I believe it is their sense of wonder. Children figure out one thing, enjoy it to the fullest, and then move along to figure out something else. That’s how they grow and learn.
Paul equated the Christian life to the human life: birth, growth, and death (with the added resurrection). He told the community that milk was only suitable for nutrition for a set time. Then you must grow up and eat solids. The Christian is growing, changing from rebirth to rebirth.
I wish consistency was part of life, but it’s not. We have two feet planted in two different worlds: one in the grace and love of God through Jesus Christ that is stable and unchanging; and one in the earthly realm that isn’t the same one moment to the next. Contentment and solace in just being is worthy of pursuit, as long as one doesn’t expect to return to the same place of rest the next day: except into the arms of Christ.
Grace and Peace