Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Point

In an Emergent Village panel discussion podcast, at minute 46, Tony Jones turns to Diana Butler Bass and suggests: "The point of your life is to influence the church." Diana immediately rebuts: "The point of my life is to do what God tells me to do."

Perhaps it was just the way Diana said it, but I don't think I have ever heard a clearer statement about God's will.

Some meditations on Diana's statement:

The point of my life is to do what God tells me to do.

Our lives have meaning. We are not just a collection of random walks along a meaningless pathway. Each of us has a vector and an impact on the world

The point of my life is to do what God tells me to do.

We exist as the otherindependent of God. We experience free will, and are not slaves to the past. We are not driven choiceless by the forces around us. Like Christ, we have the authority to lay down our lives.

The point of my life is to do what God tells me to do.

This foreshadowing of the telling carries no direction in itself. It's the commitment to obey the command, the decision to take the step to begin the journeywithout knowing the destination. 

The point of my life is to do what God tells me to do.

God doesn't ask, except for a few rhetorical questions (e.g., "Who told you that you were naked?"). Normally He tells. This telling can take many formsfrom a blinding light on the road to Damascus, to tiny pebbles glancing off our consciousness. But whatever the mode it serves to illuminate a way.

But what if God provides no telling for a decision at hand? There is no drawing of a line between God's business and ours. Normally we should just follow our hearts, but listen. As Heidi a.k.a. Virushead says: "God doesn't care what we dounless He cares."

Usually justice, kindness, and humility require no tellingthey call out on their own. 

The point of my life is to do what God tells me to do.

God's direction is not about theories or corner cases. It's about existence, the moves we make in our livesthe choices, the doing. His direction is more about the event than the flow, the exception not the rule. We can make no presumption of preferencesometimes we are to follow our hearts, at times He redirects.  

Some dis-miss the point because of unbelief.  Others complain that they never hear the telling. The telling might be in Diana's and my imagination, but I am sure of one thingthat regardless of whether we are right or not about this, belief comes firstotherwise there is no point.