Great post by my good friend Jules Weir at RebelBlog.org
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you”
Eight years ago I stepped on Texas soil for the first time in my life. I flew to San Antonio, Texas with a group from my church and was promptly met with 100 degree weather, country music, cowboy hats, Texas BBQ on the Riverwalk, and the most mesmerizing sunset I had ever seen. One visit and I was smitten. When I began to apply to colleges the following year I couldn’t imagine a better place to begin my adult life and journey of self discovery than the Lone Star State. So I packed up my bags with everything I could squeeze in them and moved 2,000 miles from Brattleboro, Vermont to Waco, Texas to attend Baylor University.
The Lord has given me a spirit of adventure and an insatiable love for new experiences, new people, and new places. This passion has led me to travel abroad to Costa Rica, study abroad in Europe, and take frequent and spontaneous road trips all over the United States with whoever I can coax to come along. While I typically consider myself a creature of habit and a lover of tradition, I love exploring the new and the unknown. Even so, when I moved to Texas seven years ago I had no grid for the culture shock I would face. I left my hometown in Vermont convinced that it was slow and…maybe a little boring? and that surely more exciting things lie ahead for my future – Texas was the answer. And it was for a while. But now I have lived here for seven years and that restless itch has returned to go and see and absorb and be transformed by a new place. The temptation before me is to let the new to become the old; and the old become mundane. This is because it is hard for me to be content in the now. It is hard to be fully engaged in the present moment. And it is hard to ever feel like you are completely at home when your soul is longing for an eternal other.
But here is the real danger. In the same way that I can easily become accustomed to and bored with my physical environment, I can just as easily become complacent or bored in my relationship with the Lord. A life lived in the Spirit is supposed to be one of endless pursuit, adventure, opportunity, and transformation as we are changed into His image “from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor. 3:18). The Lord is an everlasting spring of refreshment and joy. So why do I so easily find myself in the wading pool, knowing that there are greater depths but abiding in the shallow end?
God has called us to be His children. He has called us to know Him and to abide in Him. As St. Augustine says, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” God has created us to live in relationship with Him, not to simply know about Him but to know Him. What this shift looks like is not necessarily more information but more experience. We need to see God as He is and for who He is in order to be broken by our sin, healed by His forgiveness, and sealed by His love. The call to unbelievers is that you would be made aware of the need within your own heart; that you would begin to desire to know the One who is the way and the truth and the life, and that you would place your trust in Him. Similarly, for others who may have been walking with the Lord for many years, the call on your life is that you would be reawakened to the power of the gospel. That you would beg God to reveal Himself to you in a fresh new way and that He would reignite passion within you for Himself.