by Greg Kennedy
I am not always intentional, probably not even mostly so, but I do aspire to it. A commitment to intentionality has always been important for someone who wants to live a life that makes a difference; but in times of change and insecurity, this commitment is not just important but essential to that goal. Are we in those times, serious times? Two thoroughly disconnected events happened this week . . . one loud, the other a whisper . . . to warn me that we may well be in serious times. First, not since since the Cuban missile crisis have we been threatened with nuclear attack – until last week. Second, the New York Times allowed an editorial sympathetic to the Christian faith to grace the pages of its Op Ed section. Both events served to remind me that we live in interesting times.
The NYT Op Ed piece sees a Christian faith that is beleaguered and besieged within and without, maybe they pity us. Yet the reader is reminded that this isn’t the first time Christianity has been disdained by the wider culture or has found itself high-jacked by those with no love for our Savior, or infected by some encultured version of the faith. So why not try what worked before: an intentional life. In this article, intentionality looks like a “rule of life” made up of a daily, weekly, and annual commitments that support a vibrant faith. Luther is thought to have said, “We need to hear the gospel every day, because we forget it every day.” He is speaking or writing of an intention to hear God’s word daily. Not a bad starting place.
Who knows why the NY Times allowed a sympathetic article in its pages. Maybe they see the value of faith or morality in a democracy as John Adams did and worry that they may throw the baby out with their bathwater. I do think Christianity is at best tolerated in our culture today so commitments like a rule of life may well be a little more important. Not so many decades ago, I grew in my faith in what felt like a Christian culture. If I didn’t have a quiet time, I rubbed shoulders with those who did. I breathed in the smoke of second hand faith. It helped, but there is little of that today. Everything it seems must be first-hand.
At SonScape we speak of deep pools. Places in which we are renewed in small or great ways. We need to make sure our deep pools don’t just help our emotional, intellectual, or physical health but also our spiritual health. We need to make sure those deep pools are visited with an urgent regularly. We may just need to hear the gospel every day. So what is your rule of life?