This weekend I was fortunate to drive two hours, to meet with some family, work for about 10 minutes, then turn around and drive two hours back home. I picked up my dad and he was with me for about two hours of that time. My dad is going through his own faith journey now that all he had planned for has changed. I used to try to evangelize him but now I simply love him and Jesus is calling to him from several areas in his life.
While I was alone I finally got the chance to listen to an audio book that I've had for six months (the roads a little too slippery for driving and reading), "The Divine Conspiracy" by Dallas Willard. I've read "Renovation of the Heart" by Willard and recommend both books very highly. All weekend my heart was asking the question "How then shall we live?". Willard gives an account of a test pilot pulling into a steep ascent only to fly her jet into the ground for thinking she was flying upright when she'd been flying upside down. I also began reading Leslie Newbigin's "Proper Confidence" which discusses "faith, doubt, and certainty..". I was also inspired by a Steve Coan comment in Cracked Vessels Dripping Time about evangelicals being concerned more with what they consider right and good than actually searching daily for the log in their own eye (not Steve's words but what I gleaned from his comment).
About a year ago I got hungry. I started studying my bible like nobody's business and I'll have to be honest with you, I hadn't read a book all the way through without skimming in many, many years. When I say I got hungry I mean I was given a VORACIOUS appetite and consumed book after book after book searching for God only knows what. I'm still hungry. I still couldn't really put my finger on it if you were to ask but I can certainly convey what I've learned. From St. Peter to Tolstoy to Colson and perhaps tens of thousands of sermons in between and thereafter the question "How then should I live" has been asked. I was pondering that question with my wife yesterday and it hit me. Jesus said he is "the way, the truth, and the life". Not many disciples of Christ would deny seeking Jesus and trying to follow in his footsteps yet to non-Christians we often don't look that way. We often don't represent "the way, the truth, and the life". We can never be the way but our whole lifestyle should point to the way. We cannot be the life but our whole lifestyle should point to the life. We can, however, as Christ's Bride, his body, be a pretty strong representation of the truth. Most would say the truth lies in the scriptures or the truth lies in tradition or we must seek the truth but I say we are the truth, or rather we are becoming the truth.
The word 'fact' comes from the Latin word factum which means "something done". If we are to be the "truth" we must become the Christian 'fact'. Every facet of our life must be a facet of the life of a child of a king. How does that look? It looks like the widow giving out of her poverty, it looks like the samaritan, it looks like the heroes of the parables that Jesus taught that I don't have the time to put in here.
The truth is moving. I don't care if you are one of Barna's revolutionaries in a non-denominational mega-church or a mainstream denominational church or you are an organic christian in a home church or a monk in a monastery whenever we talk to someone we must use the words and tone that we'd enjoy someone using with us (wow did Willard change my views on anger), we must serve others as serving Jesus himself, we must be in the culture but not of the culture, we must represent beauty, art, charity, and all that emanates from Love, the pure kind of love, the kind of love that drives a shorebird to flap around as if wounded to draw danger from her tender nest of hatchlings. Who can tell us how to live like that. Jesus. Only Jesus. My words, thoughts, and deeds are flap. Only Jesus, moment by moment, breath by breath.