I was rereading a book this morning called Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle, to which I’ve referred before. It is chock-full of truths and a wonderful book for anyone…not just artists! I love rereading books like this because I always learn something new, which brings me to my point.
She said something that I could really relate to:
Too often we take God for granted. I’m accustomed to being a Christian. I was born of Christian parents, who were born of Christian parents…That’s alright when one is a child, that comfortable familiarity of being Christian, because to a child…everything is wonderful and new, even familiarity. The edge is not taken off God’s glorious creation. But later on there comes a time when this very familiarity can become one of those corrupting devices.
I’ve been a Christian for 34 years and grew up in a Christian home, for which I grow more grateful everyday! But, when it is such a long-time way of life, it can very easily become so second-nature that we don’t give it the attention it deserves, or requires, for that matter. I think we run the risk of becoming complacent in our faith, feeling like we pretty much know what it’s all about. With our salvation secure, we tend to just get on with our lives – emphasis on the “our”. L’Engle says it this way:
If we feel that we already know something in its totality, then we fail to keep our ears and eyes open to that which may expand or even change that which we so zealously think we know.
How arrogant to think that we have this faith thing all figured out! To me, one of the wonders of Christianity is that the God of the universe wrote us a love letter that is new and fresh and alive to every generation and every eye that beholds it. We can never know ALL that God is about, but we have the privilege of spending our lifetime learning everything we can…keeping our “ears and eyes” open to absorbing ever-more knowledge of Him. If we allow ourselves to become complacent, it is not only a disservice to us, but that complacency has a tendency to dim the light inside us. When that light dims, it makes it as hard for others to see it as a pen-light in a thunder storm.
We are SO BLESSED in this country to be able to participate freely in church services, small groups, bible studies, and conferences. There are limitless resources in our bookstores, and online, to help us expand our faith horizons. And, if that weren’t enough, let us not forget that God sacrificed His Son so that we could have total access to Him and no barriers in knowing Him. Certainly, there is no excuse NOT to keep it fresh and turn our lights to high-beam.