Love God Love People

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Christianity is known for taking the things that happen naturally in the course of life and claiming authority over them. Then, when what would have happened on its own, happens; we claim responsibility and call ourselves powerful. If we would just learn to keep our noses out of the areas in life where we are not needed, we might find that Christianity is amazingly easy. I have come to believe that 90% of the stress and difficulty in the modern day Christian life, is self induced. We are praying about things that don’t need prayer. We’re claiming authority over things that don’t need our leadership. We spend our time asking for things that aren’t even on the menu and we spend all our faith on things that happen naturally.

... I honestly have come to believe that the reason why Christianity has focused so much on this ridiculous stuff is because it’s a subconscious way of avoiding life and intimacy with God. I think our religion has made Him so unattractive and detestable, that we’ll stand outside and count blades of grass just to get out of being alone with Him. I think it’s a combination of us not wanting to be close to him, and us feeling like He’s going to abandon us. Part of the grace and love message is about getting a proper view of who He really is. Once you get that, you look back at your life and laugh at yourself for all the silly stuff you did. I think I’ve dropped more stuff off of my to-do list since I’ve become a Free Believer than I ever thought possible. The last time I looked at that list I think there was only two things; Love God and love people.

Darin Hufford, Free Believers Network

The real relaxation and enjoyment of life comes when you realise how often you will fail at the two things on your to-do list :) That's when the real rest kicks in. You get to be exactly who you are right now and life will still work its magic on you and rest enter your soul. It just takes time.

I can't believe how easy it is to forget this. I was kindly reminded the other day by my online bud Tyler that I am trying too hard to make things happen. How quickly it seeps in again, even when you taste how sweet it is to roll with it, how delightful when you live in the space of understanding that all you need is within reach, within you, regardless of how impossible that seems in your current circumstances. There is a certain sort of a rhythm to life and growth and healing that is harder to tap into, underneath the pace. It's hidden underneath the wireless mobile fumes, but it's there. And you don't need to buy it. Love God. Love others. And therefore:

Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

Thanks to BBQ for that Winston quote, among other great quotes today on her blog. How spectacularly I fail every day at loving God and loving people (especially if they are Christian people ;) How easy to want to do to make up for my lack when really the greatest change comes when I feel that I am loved by God, when I tap into that undercurrent of life rhythm. When I know that there is space here for me to rest. Then my doing is more effortless. It comes out of a natural expression instead of being something forced.

It is the fullness of our attention
to whatever is near
that has birds fly out of God's mouth.
Mark Nepo


  1. Legend has it that at the end of his life, the Apostle John was an invalid. He was carried from one Christian gathering to another on a sort of pallet/stretcher. Believers would stand still, breathless, to hear the words from the last person left who walked and talked with the living Christ. They could only imagine the words of import he would utter.

    Very old, feeble, and almost blind, he would summon his strength and say only one word, "Love". Over and over. Many went away from the meetings disappointed, having expected some eloquent sermon or words of wisdom. How sad they did not realize that was exactly what they received.

    If we continue on this journey to Christ, love is the thing we will be moving toward, transforming into, and nurturing within us. The sooner we realize this, the sweeter the ride.

  2. Love this Sue. I linked to it on Facebook

  3. Pretty much, yeah.

    OK, this is just me talking, and I don't know how related it is, it is just what comes to mind...I seriously lost it when I realized my former denomination was teaching that we have some magical power over our lives...that if we pray and bind and loose and cast out and take authority over whatever, then magical things will happen.

    Problem was, those magical things never DID actually happen. Well, I guess I can't say "never", because they happened exactly as often as was necessary for people to keep believing the crap. Sorta like maybe those random things would happen regardless of our effort.

    Sure enough, since I quit, I still have occasional random magical things happen in life. It's not that I don't believe God works miracles, I just don't think we get to choose them...and that if we work to make them happen, they are no more likely. Besides, if we are trying so hard, then when those magical things don't happen, we blame ourselves.

    Just my ramblings at the crack of dawn on a Wednesday.

  4. Jo - I love your comments. I agree, the sooner we realise the sweeter the ride (and also very ouchy as well, when we start understanding how crap we are at doing it, haha. But there, we then get humility as well which makes the ride a million times sweeter again).

    Your lovely recounting of John reminded me too of St Francis of Assisi moaning, "Love is not loved! Love is not loved!"

    Great thoughts.

    Kent - ooh, thank you for increasing my blog traffic! :)

    Erin - ahh, yes, I have no idea about any of that sort of stuff so I am much more inclined to keep away from it. Because in the hands of people who commodify it into something flat that we all do all the time it turns into something that loses all of its effect. Whereas maybe there are people binding and loosing somewhere that have the gift for doing that sort of stuff, maybe??? (Just thinking out loud along with you). Or maybe we do those things without realisng it because they're in a natural sort of a way without us even realising it, instead of it being some weird Frankenstein that the local Pente freaks do all the time :D

    And also, when we try so hard and give ourselves nervous breakdowns, we are in the position of not being able to see the beautiful everydaynesses that are miracles in themselves (like the crack of dawn you were observing before, for example :)

  5. damn i love this post!!!!!!

    I have to admit I did not realize the first two paragraphs were a quote, thought it was just your brilliance shining again.

    People just screw up everything. The world would be a better place without people :)

  6. I think so much of the message gets muddled because there's a large misunderstanding that the Bible is the word of God. No, it's man's interpretation of the word of God. God may be infallible, but he granted humankind free will. And humankind is far from infallible.

    John was right, Jesus message was "love" pure and simple. All the rest is just window-dressing.

    Thank you for sharing that.

  7. Barbara - oh, away with ye, you'll give me a big head. If I'm so bloody brilliant why am I working a job that is so BORING????????????

    LOL. Yes. The world would be beautiful without the people haha. I just hold out hope that at some future time the people will start being more their beautiful natures rather than their creepy ones :)

    Perplexio - great point. I think that changes pretty much damn near everything, don't you? It just ripples out and ripples out when you begin to understand it in that way, rather than this stone tablet in book form down from on high (although I do think there is amazing authority in the Scriptures. It boggles my mind when I think of the complexity of it, and just how much is encompassed in it. There is magic in there for sure - but yes, it is down through human agency and contains some human error I am sure, or is filtered through human lenses. Or something!!!

    Haha. Now you're making me think :)

    I love it when I think that JESUS is the Word of God. Not caught up in a book, although he is made known there. But in a MAN! Whoah.


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