Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Peterson - Spiritual Intimacy

Softball Season has begun!
Blue Crush 5, Other Team (Name unknown by me) 7 Darn!
Season Record 1-1

The thoughts of Eugene Peterson in the most recent edition of Christianity Today has done me much good. To wit:

Spirituality is no different from what we've been doing for two thousand years just by going to church and receiving the sacraments, being baptized, learning to pray, and reading Scriptures rightly. It's just ordinary stuff. This promise of intimacy is both right and wrong. There is an intimacy with God, but it's like any other intimacy; it's part of the fabric of your life. In marriage you don't feel intimate most of the time. Nor with a friend. Intimacy isn't primarily a mystical emotion. It's a way of life, a life of openness, honesty, a certain transparency.
Hearing this, for me, is like opening a window to a fresh spring breeze, after that drunk uncle has been visiting after eating a bad burrito.

Ordinary stuff. Image that. And all those books on Spirituality. I just Googled "Christian Spirituality" and received back 2,970,000 hits! At Amazon, you get 2,285 relevant book hits for this topic. Whew! I am tired, just thinking about it.

Not mystical. Itimacy as a part of the fabric of your life. I love this idea, and it seems to be a concept I can get my mind around. Openness, honesty, transparency. These are so very much the characteristics of Jesus, and so much of what I struggle against. After all, in our world, isn't it better to have your guard up just a bit, to be cautious of the other person? Perhaps I need to spend my time listening to Jesus, pondering the life he lived here on earth, seeking Him. Imagine that. Ordinary stuff.

More Peterson:
If you read the saints, they're pretty ordinary people. There are moments of rapture and ecstasy, but once every 10 years. And even then it's a surprise to them. They didn't do anything. We've got to disabuse people of these illusions of what the Christian life is. It's a wonderful life, but it's not wonderful in the way a lot of people want it to be.

Not wonderful in the way we want it to be? What could that mean. More later, its late. Work tomorrow.

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