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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Working Out or Communion With God?

Do you ever feel like you have two waring personalities struggling to dominate who you are?

Well, I do.

In many ways, I'm in an ongoing war with Ruth, Queen of Sanctimoniousness, who cares deeply about how holy people think she is. Last week, we went head to head on the matter of falsely dividing my life into "sacred" and "secular."

I was trying to decide how much time a "good" Christian would set aside for playing sports. (Yes, I'm obsessed with planning out my entire life including how much time I set aside for play.) But the Holy Spirit couldn't let me continue on is a silly game of pretending that playing ultimate frisbee is some how less holy than serving at food pantry.

I'm deeply convicted that serving the poor is central to following Christ; however, serving to the point where I have no time for relationships outside of my church family misses another aspect of Christ's perfection: he loves people who don't love him back. If I'm only around Christians, how can show love to those who don't know him? Is my heart for serving the poor more about appearing holy than caring for those who I'm serving? Could I be serving more productively somewhere else, that might appear less holy, but expresses God's love more clearly?

Moreover, God speaks to me when I swim, bike, or run after frisbee discs--as well as while I work, go to church meetings, But there does seem to be this nice clearing of my mind when I'm working out that allows God to open my eyes a little more to His truth.

Even more, God isn't bound by the limitations we like to put on ourselves. We like to think we can create a rule book to guide our lives, as if we can say, with certainty, that dancing is always wrong and reading our Bibles is always right. Yes, I do believe reading one's Bible can be wrong if one's heart is simply to appear holy. Central to the gospel is measuring our lives by His perfect standard, but more than a set of rules, following Christ requires humble reflection not only of our external actions, but also our internal motivations.

I've decided to blog about how God speaks to me while I'm in "play mode" in an ongoing series of posts that I will tag "SBR," which stands for Swim, Bike Run.

Edited, 5-20-09