Friday, September 10, 2010

The Great Outdoors

Today we're leaving.

We're leaving our tiny apartment, our cellphones, our shower, and even this laptop...

We are leaving all of the amenities of modern American life to spend time getting dirty, sleeping on the ground, climbing over rocks and streams, and pushing our endurance.
Just thinking of this makes me smile.

For anyone who has never been backpacking, I reccomend it zealously. It is an experience that you cannot possibly understand until you try it.
Because, if nothing else, it makes you realize how much we have in our lives that we don't take time appreciate.

Being outside with only what God created surrounding you is an incredible experience.
He made so much beauty, and all we can think to do is "improve" it, usually destroying it in the process. Why are we so presumptuous to think that we are better designers than our Father?
True, He gave us the ability to think and dream for ourselves, and sometimes He is the one who gives us those dreams and you could go so far as to say that most of the modern technology we enjoy are also part of God's creation.

But there is still something so much more awe-inspiring about our world before we humans go and trample over things. Before we take "our" big ideas, our pride and our arrogance and put them to good use for destruction, there is a beauty...a stillness that could only come from our creator.

That stillness is what I experience when I go hiking, or even just for a walk outside. There is nothing like it. I would swear to you that being out there solves all of life's problems by putting them in perspective. By making them obsolete.

Being outside, truly outside, forces you to look at the bigger picture. To see what really matters.

To see life for what it actually is.
To truly see and feel everything around you.
All that is alive and breathing.
All that are what God made.
All that makes us alive.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Relationship Vs. Religion

Life is full of suprises.

The other day a co-worker of mine shared that she believed everything happens for a reason, but that she didn't prescribe to any one religion or belief, she believes that there is a higher power, but cannot bring herself to believe in "God". I hear this exact same sentiment from young people all the time...and it makes me sad. What makes me sad isn't that they choose not to believe in God; but that, through life expiriences, they have only been shown a religious God.

What does that say about Christians? It says that either we don't have real relationships with our savior, or if we do, we aren't showing that to people enough. And I do specifically mean showing people. Half the problem here is that we as believers are more comfortable using our words to share God, than our actions. That is if we choose to share Him at all.

Words mean nothing when it comes to God. He knows our true heart and he sees the way that interact with others everyday...I don't know why people have this odd mindset that God lives in the church. We want to think that he doesnt see the good and bad in all of us but he does.

But I digress...

My point is that obviously we aren't doing a very good job of following Jesus' example (which, by the way, is exactly what being a "Christian" literally means). He LOVED people. He loved us enough to die a horrible death for our sakes. He called us, not simply to live for Him, but to love for Him. So why aren't we doing that?

My co-worker does not associate herself with God because she doesn't like religion and what it does to people. I told her that I hate religion, and she looked at me, shocked. God is not a religion. Christianity shouldn't be a religion. One of the greatest things about it is that it was designed to be a RELATIONSHIP. You can spout bible verses for hours and tell people what they could be doing diferently, but that doesn't make you a Christian.

A true follower of Christ humbles themselves before God. Loves others. Serves others. If you have a true relationship with God, that will show through your actions so much more than anything you can say to someone. We need to realize that we aren't perfect, so we shouldn't act perfect. Because what person wants to have a relationship with someone who acts perfect? I'm not saying that we shouldn't talk about God and publicly praise His name, do that, please...but if you're going to tell others about God, your loving actions need to follow that example.

So go! Share your testimonies, your failures, and then share with them why your human failures don't matter.

Just my thoughts