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living between the trees

Before I get to the meat of this post, I just wanted to announce that my boss had her baby yesterday! Yay! She had a beautiful baby girl, but it is slightly early. The baby is completely healthy and mom is doing well, but as I heard on the phone the night before last, both mom and dad of Baby Sharp proclaimed "We're not ready!" Congrats to them and prayers for them as they begin this new journey of parenthood.

I promise this will be the last post for a little while on Rob Bell (well probably until I listen to the next in the Jesus wants to save Christians series). I just can't get enough of it and I really feel God is speaking to me and energizing me with it. I've been really bogged down by some of the stuff that is going on in my religious life so it is becoming more and more helpful for me to find ways to be renewed and refreshed.

I've watched the Nooma video entitled trees about 5 or 6 times now in the last week. Essentially, it is about our purpose. About what we live for and about who we are as Christians. I constantly find myself asking why? Why am I doing this? What is in it for me? I also get the question "What are you doing this for, why do you care so much?" This video to me began to develop that for me. I'm beginning to understand where my motivations lie.

Trees addresses this from the perspective of looking at the Bible, and looking at the trees planted. In Genesis, we see the tree that begins it all, that begins our humanity. In revelation, in the middle of it all, there will be a tree as well. And God will make all things new... kind of a funny ending when you think about it.

So do we live between these trees? That kind of makes our lives very small in the grand scheme of things. Since God goes on forever before the first tree and after the second tree, then what does that mean for us. But if we're such a small part, what is the point of this life?

I know lots of Christians who look at the world and just see it as a sort of holding place, a place to wait for something better. I've listened to countless sermons that work to prepare us for the end, for what is to come. But then what does this life between the trees mean for us if it is just sitting around hoping and waiting for the next chunk of our lives to begin?

Someone told me a few weeks ago that they like to hear my perspective because I really do try to do the things that Christ has called us to do. I try to work towards living in Christian perfection. It is important to me. I mean, for me, being a Christian does not mean that I sit around and wait for Christ to return. I won't ever have a bumper sticker that says in the event of rapture this car will be unmanned (for many reasons). To me, that isn't living. I mean, I completely agree with Bell when he says that he believes truly and deeply that God knows what he is doing with this world. Did you hear that? With THIS world. With Christ's kingdom here and now. God knows.

There is so much surrounding us that just reminds me that this God I believe and hope and trust in is wonderful and is wonderful here. Think about laughter, about music, about all of the wonderful things in nature that are truly beautiful. God made those things. We just get to experience them here and now.

I think the best imagery he leaves in this video is this... "We live in between the trees in a world drenched in God." What a word. Drenched. Do you live every day like this world is drenched in God? I know that I don't. I am working towards it, but it certainly isn't a piece of cake.

Faith is this key piece that makes living between the trees more than just a tiny spot on the radar screen of infinity. And I don't want my faith to just simply be a guarantee that I'll end up with God in the end. That doesn't help me deal with life now. What good is it for me to just sit around and hope and wait that sometime when this life ends that I'll be with God?

This is where faith becomes so important to me. This is why I focus on following Jesus. We become disciples because we want to learn to love each other and love ourselves.

Faith to me is working hand in hand with God in making this world the place that it was intended to be before we messed up. Living between the trees should be more than just waiting and wishing and hoping. Living between the trees means truly living. Living between the trees means recognizing being drenched in God, it means loving ourselves and it means loving others.
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Being "drenched" in Christ. This reminds me of a sermon Pastor Steve shared with us where he said, "Picture yourself in a swimming pool. There is water covering your whole being. Now think of that pool as Christ. When you put your whole life in his hands." This is how we should live our lives. Every waking moment, every word we speak, everything we do should be done being "drenched" in Christ.
The analogy of the pool helps me to remember that my life is His.
Have a blessing filled day,
Kris : )

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:35 AM  

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