I thought I might warm up a little in writing something ‘real,’ since especially recently all of my posts have been to share pics, videos, and stories of random fun things that we have done. I would like to share some thoughts from a book that we recently started reading with what we are calling the Justice League at church. The book is called Just Courage by Gary Haugen. We are only two chapters in, but I already recommend it! Coincidently, I am also reading The Shack and it is good, but much much different.
Some thoughts from Just Courage:
Haugen starts out with a reference to John Stuart Mill who is quoted as saying, “The sayings of Christ co-exist passively in [Christians’] minds, producing hardly any effect beyond what is caused by mere listening to words so amicable and bland.” Haugen says that reading this brought to mind the failings of his own faith and he wanted to learn how to break free from this habit, as Mill referred to it. That is the premise of the rest of the book.
A favorite quote: “We want to live alive to God.” He refers to taking a trip with Jesus, but missing the adventure. We live safe lives that we can control, only take risks that we can manage, sign up for tasks that we feel completely competent to undertake on our own. We don’t open our lives to the adventure that we could BE if we really let Christ be alive in our lives. To go along with that thought, he relays that we should intentionally take our gifts on to the battlefield of life to places where we know we cannot win on our own, and where we believe God is pleased to stand with us. I think this is a huge challenge, but it is exactly the challenge I was looking for to define and direct the decisions I make in my life. Not saying, by any means, that I am or will be able to do this, but I think it is the goal I was looking for and knowing your goals is half the battle.
Haugen also offers a response to this challenge. I’m sure he offers more, but the one that has struck me thus far is to examine your prayer life. He mentions a quote from Mother Theresa where she said that she could not do 30 minutes of her work without stopping for prayer. That is one way to know if we are in a place where we cannot do it on our own- if we can not proceed in attempting the work without asking for divine help. That is a lot of trust. So, I’m no Mother Theresa, that’s for sure, but she sure was one smart and amazing lady, and so in tune with Jesus it is really something. I’ll just keep on keeping on.