An Irreligious Faith: How to Starve religion and Feed Life
We all need a personal resurrection. After all, there are a lot things trying to hold us down and keep us from being our best, truest, most unique self.
This month’s broad synchroblog topic is simply New Life. (See the other posts on this topic listed at the end.) I could write about how living in accordance with our relationship with Christ changes everything. Or I could remind us of the way nature restores our confidence when the first crocus blooms after a long, hard winter. But other people will find their inspiration there.
Personal stories intrigue me. Every good story has a protagonist who accomplishes something amazing, in spite of overwhelming challenges.
In action-oriented stories the main character gets the living daylights beat out of him, before somehow summoning the strength to defeat his foe. In mysteries, our hero finally pieces together the numerous pieces of a mind boggling puzzle. In relational tales, the lead character is down on his luck until he experiences a life-altering event, or meets that someone special.
Like those protagonists, we have something special and valuable to offer the world, or the people in our world. But there are always obstacles, hindrances, doubts, inadequacies, insecurities, naysayers, and lifelong negative messages that try to hold us back. How we respond to those challenges determines our story. Fighting through them is our personal resurrection story.
What goes into a personal resurrection story?
Crisis. Without the crisis, we may never reach deeply within ourselves to even find out who we really are. Something needs to cause us to step back and look at things in a new light before we take that look deep within.
Fight. How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m a lover, not a fighter?” I feel that way, too. But living a good story, as Donald Miller calls it, requires us to be a tenacious fighter. There are lies that well-meaning people tell us, and, even worse, lies we tell ourselves, that simply do not align with reality, though they feel very real.
Foundation. We have to fight against the lies to embrace the way God sees us, as his precious child created full of potential. We have to see ourselves for what we really have to offer.
Experience. I love the way God redeems our experiences, especially, the ones we would just as soon forget. It’s pretty strange that crises and negative experiences are the very basis of our personal resurrection story. But then, you have to be buried before you can be resurrected.
Imagination. To find a way to redeem our negative experiences and turn them into something positive that helps others will take some imagination. This is where the fun begins.
Risk. Doing something that is honest and real, which comes straight out of your life, makes you vulnerable. Some people will misunderstand you and criticize you. It just goes with the territory. We have to believe in what is within us enough to take the risks.
Work. Make no mistake. Once you find a way to make peace with your past, your circumstances, and begin to redeem it all, it will be a lot of work figuring out how to use it and actually implement it.
Friends. You are not alone. Other people have walked a similar journey. Make friends with them. Work together.
Flexibility. Here is no way to plan all of this out. You just need to get started and be willing to make adjustments as necessary.
The resurrection of Jesus is the crux of human history. Faith in him is the beginning of spiritual life, now and forever more. Our personal resurrection story it the present reality of the full and meaningful life, but we have to believe it and live it out.
More good reading about New Life: