Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you? Prompt from the Daily Post, Michelle W. August 23.
In late summer of 2011, I read a book that brought changes in my life – “Your God is Too Safe” by Mark Buchanan. The theme is basically that most church members stick to their comfort zones. He calls these comfort zones “border lands” where they are safe from attack. For instance, hopefully my readers know I am a Christian. Being a Christian demands that I believe Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life with Him. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life,…no man comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) Now almost everyone gives me the right to believe that and say that in the confines of my church, but publicly it is almost sure to be a problem. Therefore most of us remain in our safe borders.
Back to the book, on page 112 there is a sentence that challenged me and caused some changes in my life. “The risks are that we never leave borderland, but sit there caressing our too-safe god who kisses us with comfort until we feel precisely nothing.” So I took a risk; I gave up my job and my “churchy” routine and stepped out to see what might be in the “holy wild.” For instance, instead of going to my Sunday School class on Sunday morning, I took some dirty rugs to self-help Laundromats to meet some people who obviously were not in church that morning. (For a while I had the cleanest rugs in town!) I didn’t do much except smile and open up small non-intrusive conversations, but I hope I gave them a break in what appeared to be a very mundane activity – just washing clothes.
Where is the God of the Bible? John 1:50 says we would do “greater things” even than Jesus. Daniel 11:32 “the people who do know their God will be strong and do exploits.” You may notice I do not tag this post with “exploits;” I’ve hardly arrived!
The laundry experiment has led to others; the “oomph” for doing something different provided some of my motivation for getting into this blogging adventure. I’m meeting a lot of people whom I would never have known except via the bloggosphere.
I’m ending with a great big hello to all my friends out there! Without Mark Buchanan’s book, I may never have met you.