Getting ready to fly home from our extraordinary weekend in Des Moines, I grabbed my phone to make myself a quick reminder note before I turned it off. When I opened the app, I saw something in my list of notes that I didn’t recognize. Typically, I put quotes and things together, on one page, but this turned out to be a quote on a page by itself. I didn’t remember reading it, much less writing it down, and since I discovered it yesterday, my mind has been turning it over and over.
What is the essence of Christian existence? It is a living mystery…to live in such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist. ~Madeleine L’Engle
Wow. Even reading now, as I type it in, gives me pause! What a gauge to measure a life. I can think of some of the most grounded, completely solid, Christians that I know. They walk the walk and talk the talk, whether you see them at church, or the grocery store, or anywhere else you can think of. They live their faith out loud, by loving people to the God that is their very life-blood and only hope. But if God did not exist, they would probably seem a little crazy. Nice, but crazy. If He didn’t exist, it would seem silly that they be so concerned with others, when being #1 is the name of the game. And why in the world would they seem so peaceful in their core, when the world was going to hell in a hand basket and it was every man for himself?
Thankfully, a lot of us reading this know better, but there is still an astounding number in the world population who do not. To (too) many, God doesn’t exist. Those of us trying to “live the mystery” are viewed exactly as I just described, and that mystery is exactly what draws those questioners, and seekers, and even the nay-sayers to us. It’s what causes them to want to know more.
Live the mystery, and there just might be a few more nice, but crazy people walking around…dirt roads for a while, but streets of gold for eternity.
“Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 NLT
“…Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” 1 Peter 2:12 MSG
““You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 ESV