Monday, March 21, 2005

Shalom

“He imagined the sun.” God in his infinite creativity imagined the gases, the form, and function of the sun and spoke it into existence. He created an earth on an elliptical orbit and set it at a tilt as it orbited the huge ball of gas setting it a spin, in order that we might have day and night, winter and summer, fall and spring.

All my creations come from my schema of my experience, knowledge, and are in actuality a conglomeration of things I already know. Said is there is nothing new under the sun. How interesting that once again it is the sun in its overwhelming power and size to which we refer. To imagine means to “form a mental image of something that is not present or that is not the case." Yet, I am beginning to understand that my imaginings will never succeed in grasping the truth of God’s imaginings and subsequent creation. To create has multiple meanings: to make or cause to be or to become, to bring into existence, and as we often limit it, to create by artistic means. Before God created, there was nothing but God. The only way I can create is to use what is around me, which are the very items God created from nothingness.

I realize nothing is new in the knowledge of what is above, but the awareness I have of God’s power and the fullness I feel of his presence is very new. It is unlike anything I can recall feeling. The immensity of God’s love for me is overwhelming. Yet here I have been living, as if Christian living is a chore. Making practices of community something of a checklist. I can see my mental list now. Ask for help, check. Listen to friends, check. Give your problems to Christ, check. This is not how we are to go about living at all. In fact the very term practices, has been misleading, or at least misused. It is not a new item for my checklist; rather practices are life style changes that I can begin as I try to live more like Christ.

I desire with everything to live in community. To refer to an earlier image, I desire that my stick be bundled rather than left alone fragile and at the mercy of this world around me. However, I have not focused on Love. I have focused on activity. I desire to accept the transformation God wants to be in my life.

Concerning the new feeling inside that is a fullness, a wholeness, a contentment that I cannot remember having before, the word Shalom is constantly echoing in my head. I am not “shaloming” enough. The extension of peace from me has not been whole-hearted. It is time for my life to be an extension of the love of Christ. The experience of allowing others to shalom me is stilted. In fact, I have been going about accepting help all wrong. I have been looking at help from fellow Christians as a willing inconvenience. This is that they help me out of an obligation or pity. I had it all wrong. The outpouring of shalom within community is a step towards a society such as Augustine’s City of God. The presence of Shalom is what defines a healthy growing Christ-centered community.

My newfound joy is filling every nook of my life. People keep asking why I am smiling. I feel a deeper desire to listen to hurting hearts. I cannot keep Christ quiet; rather I want to shout to everyone about the love, the power, the joy, and the truth of God’s presence in my life. I look around to see whom I can tell about me and them being wholly and dearly loved by the all-powerful creator of the universe.

2 comments:

just a traveller said...

The book by Brian McLaren is called "A New Kind of Christian".

George said...

Take a minute right now, and imagine all the cool things you will do with system - how your life will be so much more better - and how your famly will change for the better.
system