Something has happened and I’m not sure when it actually happened I just know that it did. Suddenly I’m 20 years out of college. 20 years not out of high school but out of college. It’s crazy because it doesn’t feel like it should be that long. It puts me even further out of High School. It’s just one of those things.
There are a few things that I remember though and one of them is one of those super embarrassing moments that happens in everyone’s life, you know the ones I mean, where you look around and hope that no one sees you.
I was on the phone talking to who knows, I am pretty sure it wasn’t my parents though, the conversation ended in a not parenty way if that makes sense, I jumped up turned and sprinted into the laundry room. See back in the day you had a pay phone and calling card, living on campus in a different set of dorms, you could have a phone in the room, or you could do the whole pay phone thing, anyway instead of landing in the laundry room, I slammed into the window next to the door. Pretty hard, don’t get me wrong I recovered, but I also did that whole check to see if anyone had seen, I’m not sure how they couldn’t have but it must have been okay because no one said anything, they were probably just being nice, who knows. That memory brings to mind something that we all do…
Have you ever been walking down the street, and for no visible reason you seem to just trip. Your foot catches some phantom root, or a crack in the sidewalk. Which brings me in an admittedly circuitous way to my thoughts for today…
Rules are better than faith because rules are easily measured. I make lists of what needs to be done, I set a calender and live by it, rules make sense, Follow the rules and happiness happens, ignore the rules and hard times ensue. Right? I mean that makes sense. The problem is people suck at following rules, most of the times humans try to find ways around the rules, they look for loopholes, they follow the letter of the law but ignore the spirit behind it. Why so many people want to go back to a rules based faith is beyond me but we can find that problem all over the place. Equally troubling is why modern Christians, think that post modern seekers, and Christ followers, willing to read a bit for themselves and live out their faith in tangible ways, are messed up and far from God because they just don’t get the importance of Levitical Law and it’s meaning to our faith. Which brings me to the whole reason for the post.
When I read the verses in Romans this morning something happened that seems to happen more and more often the further I get from my days as a know it all college kid studying to be “in the ministry.” I made a connection between an every day occurence and a Biblical truth. We need to trip up, and many times our failure at the rules of faith enable our faith to grow more robust. Think about it, when you trip over that unseen crack in the sidewalk, what’s the first thing you do. I know what I do, when I trip on that unseen thing, I stop for a moment, and sometimes, no that’s not really accurate, 98 percent of the time, I go back and try to figure out why I tripped. I look at the spot that I lost my balance, I try to find the cause…Now apply that, to the verses in Romans. When we try to live and move and have our being in the rules of Christianity, as opposed to in the person of Christ we are going to trip and if we do it right, if we trip up, as opposed to just tripping. We will be brought back to that place where we see that no matter how hard we try, without a living breathing active faith, that has its foundation not in Leviticus but in Christ, we are lost, we do what so many of us do, what I did when I ran into that window outside the Laundry Room, we look around to make sure no one saw what just happened, and if they didn’t we turn around and act like everything is fine, like we have control of things, like nothing happened. Meanwhile the person that we claim to follow weeps, not so much because of the misstep but because we are leaving out the one that wants more than anything to be more to our life than a label.
Imagine the difference in our world, not the world.. our world, the sphere of influence that we have, if we are willing to look at the places we fall instead of trying to act like they never happened, people would see us in a whole new, approachable, light, and isn’t that what we’re supposed to be?