Raise your hand if you’ve given up on your New Year’s resolution?
This year my mom and I decided to start the year off by doing the “100 burpy challenge”, if you don’t know what burpies are check out the video here. The challenge is to start on January first by doing one burpy and then adding one each day. I just did my 57 and am tired. If you have been following my blogs you know that I have also commited to living spiritually.
Unlike the burpies, which are difficult in themselves, living spiritually has been a harder commitment to keep. Doing my burpies only takes at most 20 minutes right now, but living spiritually can take all day and, well, it’s so easy to just shut down and live in a me centered world and not a God centered one. I try to follow my own tips of being attentive, in position, and being submissive, which I talked about in my How Running and Living Spiritually Go Hand in Hand blog, but sometimes I just want to complain about my job. I want to take a moment for myself. Is that so bad?
Yes! God wants more for us.
So raise both hands up if you have stopped living spiritually at any time this year. Okay, you can put them back down. Yeah, we’re only 58 days into the new year and I bet most of us have already been burnt out. We’ve either looked so hard for God and he let us down, or our lives just got busy. But I’m here to tell you not to stop now. God has something great for us (just most of the time not what we expect); we just have to keep our eyes open. I believe as we set off on this life long journey of living spiritually, yes I know I’ve said this was just the challenge for 2012, but I believe God is asking for more; it is a lifestyle and not just a goal, we have to ask an important question.
What if . . . ? The answer to this question could be the premise to life.
You decided to live dangerously.
What if I loved dangerously.
1st John verse 4 says, “let us love one another, for love comes from God . . . God is is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him. There is no f ear in love. But perfect love drives out all fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.”
If we are living spiritually, we are lovers in a dangerous time. A world outside of God is a world away from love because as John writes, “God is Love.”
What would life truly look like without love? That is a premise I would not like to live out.
Imagine a world without love. You’d have to take away all love songs, love stories, and Valentine’s Day cards. In fact get rid of Christmas and Easter, because God’s ultimate action of love was giving his son to us as a sacrifice.
A world without love would be void of sacrifice.
There goes anyone offering to help you change your flat tire on a rainy highway.
I believe random acts of kindness would be a thing of myths. A world without love would be a self-centered world. No one would live for anyone but themselves.
If we stop living spiritually we stop loving.
Without love, would it really be wrong to cheat, steal, and lie? I mean, those people are just looking out for themselves. True morality is dead without God’s love because there is no reason to treat other people with respect if our lives are centered on ourselves. Respect would mean treating people as if they held value and giving people value would imply love.
If we stop living spiritually there would be no love and we’d end up alone, feeling empty.
Sunday, day number 57 of living spiritually, I went to downtown Denver with a couple of my friends. It was cold out, so we walked 16th street mall rather quickly. My friends are from out of town and they figured they couldn’t spend time in Denver without actually seeing it’s city life. Most of what I saw were poor people trying to stand in the sun as if their bodies could soak up it’s warmth so they could stay warm for the night. As we stood waiting for the free shuttle back to our car, a girl came up to us and asked us if we needed directions. Being a Denver native I kindly said, no. Boldly she asked if we could get her something to eat. She didn’t want much, just a hamburger from smashburger. We hesitated for a minute, not that she seemed dangerous, but our shuttle was coming, but she looked cold and so I said, sure. Sometimes when you kick at the darkness you end up hitting your own selfish desires. We walked into smashburger and my friends bought her a burger. She said she was very grateful and told us that she’d run away from her uncle’s home because he abused her mom. I hope that burger filled more than her stomach. I hope it brought the light that only God’s love can bring to her.
Living spiritually means meeting other people’s needs and knowing that God will take care of the rest.
I’m thankful for my loving family and the warm bed I can crawl up in after I am done writing this blog. I guess what I am saying is, if I stopped living spiritually my heart would be closed to moments like today and I wouldn’t be grateful for what I have been given. We are called to live dangerously, so if you have given up on your New Year’s resolution or have faltered at living spiritually start back up. All it takes is showing a little love, kicking at the darkness until it bleeds daylight.
Brendan regularly writes for his own blog Adventures in Guatemala, where this blog was first published, at guatspot.wordpress.com. He also writes a blog every other Monday for The Neighborhood Café at bibleconversation.wordpress.com. And on another note he thinks Hugo should have won the Oscar for best picture.