Saturday, May 1, 2010

A word from the hill country - a "thin place"

I'm writing from the hill country in Texas, about 90 minutes north of San Antonio. I've been one of the speakers at the Mo-Ranch Assembly Men's conference. About 450 Presbyterian men gather here every year to worship, learn, fellowship together and grow in their faith.

I enjoyed teaching, I always do, and I presented more content from The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian than I ever have before. I sensed a very real connection between the participants and the material - as if the ideas talked about in this book resonated with their own experiences.

There was an extra amount of nodding and a few more "amens" in response to the idea that faith is much more than membership in "The Christian Club"; just one more affiliation in a long list of club memberships. I got the impression that the concept touched a nerve, and I felt the room perceptibly lean in and pay closer attention.

It's beautiful out here. Clear air, cool evenings, and a beautiful spirit that comes along with such a gathering. You can feel the devotion in the air. Men from all over Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Arkansas, all committed - at least for the weekend - to living faithful lives as disciples...

... Of course, a lot of this falls by the wayside when guys return to the routine of daily life. But this kind of experience is important because it gives them - gives all of us - a glimpse into what Kingdom life is all about.

There's a balance - always - in life between "reality" and inspiration. Sometimes it takes a little extra inspiration to get through a week of reality... which is why inspiration needs to work its way into our reality; why we shouldn't paint such a solid line between faith and our day-to-day lives.

No more part-time Christian.

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