Wednesday, July 18, 2007

more on causemology: what does god want us to do?

What does God want us to do?

Any cursory reading of the scriptures seems replete with instructions about what we’re supposed to do as followers of Jesus Christ. We’re supposed to be truthful in prayer, ethical in our conduct towards others, compassionate towards the disenfranchised, giving to the poor, generous with those in need, merciful to the outcast, sincere in our worship, studious in our treatment of the scriptures, lavish with our sacrifices, loose with the charity of our money, and exclusivity committed to the service of Christ and his church [and this is all just for starters].

To be fair, Jesus himself makes it clear that we are not bound by a laundry list of rules and regulations; but, he also makes it clear that anyone who is sincere in their affections for him and his kingdom will allow these kinds of activities, habits, and practices to flow out of them because of their newfound spirit of joy.

We ought to be doing what Jesus wants, but that doesn’t mean we have to do them all at the same time, or do them all of the time without ever thinking of Jesus’ other commands like rest, watch, and wait [sometimes adding more “stuff” to our lives is hardly god-honoring]. As such, we must become reacquainted with the notion of seasons.

Our lives move in rhythms. Some are busier than others and some are more relaxed; some are seasons of incredible study, and some are seasons of tireless play; some are seasons of spiritual fervor and discipline, some are seasons of Sabbath and the love of our families. There is no command in the scriptures to be busy in all things at all times, thereby neglecting the primary relationships that god himself has placed into our care and of which he requires our utmost commitment.

Causemology is designed to honor these seasons, creating two-month-long waves of spiritual intersection. By intentionally limiting our initial commitments to just two months, we can protect ourselves against burn out and sidestep the danger of reducing these spiritual actions into rote and habit.

So, simply, what does God want?

He wants us to be active in the world around us, not merely “hearers..but doers of the Word” [cf. James 1.22-25]. We ought to be doing…

Something for our soul
We ought to focus specifically on our individual spiritual development.

Something for our relationships
We ought to focus specifically on our relationships and God’s participation in those relationships.

Something for our church
Participation in a local church is fundamental tenet of New Testament teaching and we ignore that participation to our own peril.

Something for our world
We ought to be intimately involved in helping the world become a better place through justice, compassion, and spiritual transformation.

This list is, of course, incomplete, flawed, and unsatisfying…but it is a beginning for how we ought to live.
It is a starting point.

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