so, i was digging through some of my personal resources, collected from a variety of sources, and came across some stuff from 'renovare'. they are a group of christian writers and thinkers who are working toward reintroducing some of the more spiritually formative, old/ancient christian practices into the western church - a church that is in danger of basing it's faith on bumpersticker slogans. this was recieved (in my experience) with quite a bit of excitement and "let's do it!"- ness. but it has quickly petered out (also in my experience). i was looking at a couple of things i have from them, wondering why teachings, prayers and other resources that have nourished the Church for centuries are so easily dismissed - i mean, this is GOOD stuff. change your life stuff. and then something occured to me. these things, these questions and writings and ideas are hard. they require real thought and personal attention. they require honesty and submission and time...discipline. when i can have a 3 course meal in 20 minutes by using the 'just add water' method, why would cook from scratch? we live in an instant, 3-steps-to-success world. if we can have it in our food, fitness, decorating, lawn, learning & relationships, why not in our relationship with God, too? let's face it - we want the easy way. we don't to have to think too hard, or love too passionately, or open up too much. but the truth is, if all the "3 step" programs we have developed really worked, we'd all be thin, fit, gorgeous, gourmet, happy, rich people, wouldn't we? life is messy. it cannot be navigated in programs or bumperstickers. and to think that little me can set God into a box of my design and feed him little biscuits of devotion now and then is completley arrogant and wrong minded. the very fact that the God of all the universe would like to have my company is astonishing - and it requires more of me than a wwjd bracelet and prayer over dinner. real work is required to make anything successful - and the ancient God-lovers knew it. they devoted themselves...and when you read what they left behind, it's clear that they knew God in such deep ways...such intimate ways that we rarely experience. i'm not saying we have to follow the 'old ways' to find God in a real way, but i am saying it's going to take work on our part...just like a marriage. the people who you see with enviable marriages are the couples who have devoted themselves to it. God is always going to show up if we do. he waits to be wanted.
i am going to try to dig back into some of that material. because i am certainly not immune to wanting things to fall into place with little or no effort on my part. God forgive me for reducing you to a toy - teach me to know you in a more real way.