There’s a central question that I’m not sure I come back to enough. I write like it’s some sort of universal commonality or just a part of human nature at such a core level it doesn’t need to be addressed. But considering how often a write about how to change behaviour and align more with this lifestyle it’s clearly not just there.
Why live like this?
There’s a possibility that you could read this as some sort of effort to earn heaven, or that by working hard to align yourself with God you’ll be in his good books, blessed or something. But God talks about the idea that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. His favour can’t be earned.
And you’ll hear people say “be a Christian and you’ll be happy and life will be better.” While I appreciate where that’s coming from telling people who love and enjoy their life that it sucks may not be a great start.
So why live like this.
I think there are two reasons.
It’s is not to earn God’s love or grace. Rather it’s an out flowing of what you’ve experienced. I think it taps into a part of you you may not know you have. It’s about depth. We were made and wired and have within us something the resonates, or to borrow from Rob Bell, hums when we connect with God and his love and grace. One way to do that is to share it, relationally. Life isn’t perfect or without pain or suffering but it has a depth that can otherwise be missing. Almost as if happy is good but this is past happy because something in you begins to connect and hum with the world in a way that you may have only found in fleeting moments. This is the source. Like a finely tuned car this is what you were made to do and the way you were made to live. When we share love and place ourselves in spaces to be loving and gracious and receive it back our soul hum as we connect to our source.
The second idea comes form Peter Rollins. He talks often about love and the way that love doesn’t work how we think. He talks about how love not as a feeling or even really a thing in it’s own right. Love for Rollins is that which renders meaning. He describes it often like light. While in reality I’m seeing light bouncing back when I look at my wife what is see isn’t light but I see Sarah. In the same way a story that wouldn’t matter told by one you love matters. A moment in time is just a moment until it’s shared with one you love. The love brings life and meaning and depth. Love is not sublime but it’s love that makes Sarah sublime. When you see and share love you almost don’t see love but rather the one that you love.
When we start to live a life marked by love the world actually changes. We experience the world in a new way as we see the world and the people we meet as full of meaning and purpose. Love is what lets us do that.
So we live this way to connect with our source and find that hum in the world and as we do we begin to find meaning in everything because love renders meaning to the previously meaningless. Almost like God intend it that way and just trying to call us back to it.