William was troubled; everything looked great on the outside, but on the inside his Sunday’s were empty and mundane. “Sunday,” he said, “is like the Groundhog Day movie.”
“It’s the same every Sunday. Everything is as expected. Same songs, same people, same prayers, same arguments about God and the same Bible verses. i already know what will be said.”
“I don’t think that’s the way it should be.”
He’s right. God is never mundane, nor is HE predictable.
In the movie, Groundhog Day, Phil (Bill Murray) started out arrogant, cynical, sarcastic, and miserable. His “on location” shoot in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, gets stuck in a 24-hour loop. He wakes up living the same day over and over.
The only way for him to break free of Groundhog day is for him to change, to see the same people differently, to react and resound with passion. If he does nothing everything is the same day after day. Once he discovers the secret, the same old day is transformed into an unforeseen game-changer.
In the real world, for us to get beyond the stale and mundane, God sends HIS Spirit to give us eyes that see awe and wonder and supernatural fingerprints, HIS Spirit encourages us to listen for voice even in the trivia, and to see God when we least expect it. That process changes us, regardless of what happens. It’s a game-changer.
“Too much of our time is spent trying to chart God on a grid and too little is spent allowing our hearts to feel awe. By reducing Christian spiritually to formula, we deprive our hearts of wonder.” (Don Miller, Blue like Jazz). And, without awe Sundays drift into repetitive sameness.
Paul wrote: “Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. Colossians 1:9-12 The Message.
Quit trying to find the right arguments to prove you believe. Get your head out of the details and look for the unseen, look for the “spill over into joy,” the AWE… the unexplainable, the unpredictable, and the unbelievable.
Followers of Jesus are not Bible people, we are Easter people. We must quit burying ourselves in arguments and ritual and formulas, and unwrap the gifts of awe and wonder and beauty.Those gifts are not buried in a book or a tomb. How could that be empty or mundane? That the ultimate game-changer.
In Blue like Jazz, Don Miller explains:
“I like the scene in the movie Dead Poets Society in which Mr. Keating, an English instructor at an elite preparatory school, asks his students to rip out the “Introduction to Poetry” essay from their literature textbooks. The essayist had instructed students in a method of grading poems on a sliding scale, complete with the use of a grid, thus reducing art for the heart into arithmetic for the head.
The students looked around at each other in confusion as their teacher dismissed the essay as rubbish and ordered them to rip these pages from their books. And at their teacher’s loud prodding, the students began to rip.
Dr. Keating paced the aisle with a trash can and reminded the students that poetry is not algebra, not songs on American Bandstand that can be rated on a scale from one to ten, but rather they are pieces of art that plunge the depths of the heart…”
Sunday is meant to be poetry for the Spirit. It plunges the depths of the soul.
Surprise yourself this week. Put the book down. Break out of sameness, out of formulas, get off the grid. Look for the unseen and be what God is making you to be. Quit talking and start doing. Quit trying to do God’s job for HIM, allow HIS Spirit transform you.
You have a choice:
1. You can look for God to spill over in life; look for awe. Look for it everywhere!
2. You can keep your faith securely protected and trapped in mundane sameness.
It’s time for Easter people to live like it. After all, the tomb is empty! Resurrection is real and you are proof. And, from my perspective that’s awesome!
Category: Faith Notes