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There's a tendency in human experience (wow - how's that for a blanket generalization?) to separate the sacred from the secular, to see the things of God and the things of this world in different lights, in different realms, having very little if any interaction back and forth across the great divide. Our spiritual lives are removed from our real lives. The bible on the nightstand is honored, but rarely touched. The sermon on Sunday is usually only a fleeting memory during Monday's morning commute. We pray for help when times are tough, but we don't say much to the Father when it's going pretty good. We know we should go to church, but it's more to appease an inner consciousness issue than to interact with the body of Christ.

That's rough, but the opposite works, too. We lift up the holiness of God as some vengeful disposition towards the worldliness around us. We think that God has enough to do and can't be bothered by whatever smallish issues we might have, that we can handle on our own. We don't pray because we think are petitions are petty, and we don't tithe because we think God understands, knows we'll do better next time, has compassion on our rebellion and still just wants us to know we're loved. We know it's important for our kids to know God, but they don't see Him at work in our own lives beyond Sunday morning, and we think that's enough. We honor the Lord, but we don't fear Him. We buy Christian pop culture, but we fail to trust Him with our resources.

We love Him, and we ignore Him at the same time. There's a place in our lives for the holy, and a place for the secular, and never shall they meet. Sigh.

I woke up before 6am this morning, knowing the going back to sleep would be wrong and that the dog probably needed to go out anyway. The hound and I went downstairs, I opened the backdoor for her and made a pot of coffee for Vicki & I. I went back into the still dark living room, turned on the floor lamp by my chair, and opened my laptop - checking email, latest on CNN.com. And I opened my bible, looking at 2 Thessalonians 1. I was interacting with the PC, the daily news of such devastation in the aftermath of the hurricane and the deaths of so many in Iraq yesterday, and reading the Word - when my son got up. I heard him go to the bathroom, then come down: "Good morning, Dad".

You're nine years old, getting up earlier than normal on a school day, and you see your own father with his bible open, the laptop up, and the dog coming in from out back. What does this say to your young, growing, learning self? My hope is that this memory will be reinforced in him over time, that daily living is both secular and sacred, and that godliness redeems the time. My hope is that the fact that my email being open at the same time as my Bible won't be a distraction to those of you reading who think the Bible should have such a higher place of prominence, that the presence of the internet means I'm bringing down the worth of the scriptures. My hope is that we'll learn together that it's all sacred, that it's all interconnected in ways we'll neve fully understand, that it's ultimately more meaningful as an intergrated part of life than as a compartmentalized faith.

My hope is that our kids will be whole-hearted in their devotion, and that their faith will be alive in every aspect of their lives, even as I learn what that means myself.


Blogger Kristen said...

Wow, really good thoughts here, Rick. Thanks.

1/9/05 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

good thoughts-it's interesting to see how much is categorized in most people's life (my own not exempt) to the point that everything is just that-a category to go through and check off at the end of the day that it was visited

1/9/05 1:07 PM  

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