Last week I applied to be a Coordinator for Biola’s mission conference. There are some things that you know that you have to do even though it many not be exactly what you were hoping to do- this was one of those time. I had a push to complete the application at eleven on Thursday night, a time where nothing coherent usually get done- it was not by my power it got done…
The interview was on Wednesday. I dressed up as requested, business casual- it was nearly a hundred degrees outside with fifty percent humidity; thank goodness there was a slight breeze and an air conditioned shuttle! It was the least intimidating interview I have been apart of. They were comfortable with their questions & confident on their clarifications. It was a pleasure to be interview by them because I could see their passion and desire for their position and for those who were going to be coming along side them in build and executing their vision for one of Biola’s biggest conference.
Last weekend, I broke down and bought a circular saw and built a “butcher block” table. It was good to get my hands working with wood once again. Between all the reading and studying, it was a welcomed relief to be working with my hands and doing something creative. I enjoyed the whole build in spite of the heat and humidity that resulted me in swimming sweat I worked in a less than my ideal workshop, ie the courtyard outside my front door in the heat of the day. What resulted in threeish hours and 20 dollars in material? A decent table that will last for the next 9 months and can easily broken down for storage.
I am at the point in my semester now where all my classes are meshing together in my head. This is a good thing if I was not being tested on individual basis and just asked how everything I am learning can be integrated and applied. I think this ought to be the goal of school- to see the meshing and application of all disciplines in one’s life. This also leads to some interesting times of personal prayer and reflection. Now if only I can only separate all the information just enough to do well on my exams…
In my integration classes, Comm and Spirituality, we talked about something called the “Sanctification Gap.” The sanctification gap is a picture of how many people approach the Christian walk. Let me show you a picture and I’ll unpack it for you.
So the bottom line (Ground level) is our baseline, who we are at the start of our walk. The upward ray (Projected) is where were heading, the optimal person in Christ. The curved line is where we actually fall in our sanctification. When we realize that we are not where we are not suppose to be, we get caught up in comparing ourselves with others, we get discouraged. We then are confronted with a few choices: Create a false self, rebel and jump ship, or become content in the path we are in.
Creating a false self is to created an image of righteousness. I have called this putting on different masks in the past. We do this to make ourselves look better that we actually are, to keep people from questioning our relationship with God. The false self is caught up in serving a moral code rather than living in a relationship with God. It is trying to earn God’s grace by doing good and being good, often labeled legalism. It is lying to ourselves about the condition of our hearts. We parade it around as authentic relationship with God.
The other option is to rebel, to jump ship and say it’s not worth it. It’s the stage the youth leaders and parents fear for their children because all hope is now lost, they no longer listen to logic that appealed to them as children. But I think that rebellion can be a good thing- many parables that Jesus told were about bring back those who were lost and had gone astray. We can see from Jesus’ ministry that it were the Pharisees that had the hardest time to accept the Gospel. I think the Pharisees, many of them, had the greatest intention to uphold the law, but they fell into legalism, and legalism is much harder to address than rebellion.Rebellion exposes our depravity and need for God, the false self turns God’s call into a distant voice.
The last option is contentment. It is not trying to rush ahead or give up, but coming to understand who God is and the grace that he gives us and how through that grace we go through the continual process of sanctification, being coming more like Christ.It is the slow and steady life that stick at it when it seams hard and recognizes that you cannot fake it until it makes it. You see we will never be perfect until Christ returns, but the sanctification process will move us closer to that point. This is a hard place to get to, it is a hard place to stay.
There is more things that can be connected to this, but that will have to be for another time, either here or coffee- this thing is already a day late, so here y’all go. I have been enamored by false selves many times- they creep in slowly.