Religion is like going on a cruise. Once onboard the ship, you enter a no-stress zone where life consists of preplanned and prepackaged activities. You only need to sit back and take it all in for 3-10 days. Decisions are limited so that you can relax and not be subject to any risk or adventure. They’ve got it all under control. You fit into pre-existing templates for your pleasure and enjoyment.
As a passenger, you simply choose from the available menu. Do I want the first seating or second seating at dinner? What excursion do I want to take tomorrow? Some people like that. I’ve tried it. I don’t like it. I am a woman who loves the journey with all the risks that may come into play in traveling away from the predictable establishment. I would go so far as to say Christianity itself is a creative journey of risk and adventure. That is exactly why I left the church as it currently exists. I don’t like cruises. I like adventure. I am looking and I am searching for Christianity again outside the walls of the church.
When we moved out, which is what this blog is all about, we encountered raised eyebrows and great concern that we would backslide. How is that possible with Christ in me? Where am I backsliding to anyway? Leaving the form is not leaving Christianity. I want to go outside the walls of predictability to find those who are seeking a city, whose builder and maker is God, not man. Christ building His church, His way by the Spirit – formed by revelation, not information; that is the desire of our hearts.
This is my life now and I love it. Perhaps you don’t understand this at all. It may be because you need to equate Christianity with a form, a building, something to see, to grasp hold of, or to measure. That is not for us. It never was for us. The tension of all those years building up inside of me finally makes sense to me now.
I love the adventure and the risk of listening to the Holy Spirit speak to us to move out, to travel, and to journey. My heart is grounded in relationships, strong solid relationships of accountability we have formed in Christ over the years with many different people. My life is formed in adventure. The Holy Spirit has taken us around the world. I have lived in the Middle East. Finland is another place I call home with our residence visa. I have traveled to so many nations over the years. I am full and alive in Christ.
Where to go? What to do? Unfortunately, as we tested the waters and visited a few churches over the past few years, we were often met with suspicion and caution, as if we were spiritual terrorists trying to overthrow the existing structure. Or we were asked to fit in so they would know who labors among them. They would give us a chance when they could fit us into some template of their understanding. Gheeessh! Oy vey! OMG! We don’t lose hope for the church. Christ is in control. But, we do totally believe that it cannot go on as it is in its current condition. Change is in the air! Open your eyes to see!
Hebrews 11:9-10 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. NKJV
I am in the world, not of the world. I live in promise, destiny, and identity now – Christ in me, the hope of glory. My eyes are looking in a new direction, outside the box of conformity. My eyes see that others are out here with me. We are not wanderers at all but travelers, looking for that city where the foundations are laid in Christ, not man. I am looking for that which is built according to Holy Spirit, according to the revelation of a heavenly blueprint from God. When I find it, and I will find it, I will see a habitation for His glory, a place where He dwells in His people and the overflow of this will be His Kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven. Perhaps Marvin and I will be directed to build such a place again. The Spirit will show us in the days ahead. For right now, I am called to write and transition through some things for 2013. But, 2014 is right around the corner. Where will we find ourselves? Time will tell.