Saturday, March 8, 2008

Augustine

How's it going, brothers and sisters? This week has been going pretty well so far. It's crazy to see how God is at work in our lives. The amount blessings God lavishes (noodles) on us is also staggering, especially in the good old U.S. of A.

I was watching the news recently, and there were some budget cuts made to California School systems which eliminated many extra-curricular activities, mainly sports. Outraged students in at least two schools walked out of school in protest to the new budget cuts. "Without sports," stated one student protester, "school is nothing. You just come here and do nothing." Another student went as far to say that "(Sports) are what school is about for some people. They come to school to play." They come to school to play...

Think about that. Now, I'm not trying to condemn sports or those who participate in them in any means. I think they are a very healthy and important role in school life. That being said, does anyone else see the sheer madness of this statement? School, to these students at least, has become not about gaining an education, but rather to play sports. The primary function of the institution is no longer the leading factor in these members' desire to participate. To any rationally thinking person, this would appear to be a severe flaw in the mindset of the students; but this blog is not about school reform.

The question that I am posing to you, reader, is how much of our spiritual life is motivated by "extra-curricular" activities? What is our motive for being a part of the Church? Is it for things that are not the primary goal of the institution? I am afraid that far too often the reason for our participation is not in the fundamental base of the establishment: Christ Jesus and him crucified. We go for all the fluff; the extra; the dessert. We consume what is pleasurable rather than what provides sustenance. Again, to those who are rational, this is a severe flaw in our mindset.

Now, like I stated earlier, sports are not a bad thing. They teach many life lessons and encourage discipline and teamwork. In the same way, extra parts of our spiritual lives are very good. If they become the primary focus, though, the True Reason is lost, and therein lies the rub. I say that if these are the prime motivations, they must be cut, no matter how drastic or painful that cut may be. We must get back to the heart of our worship.

"I am the vine; you are the branches..." - John 15:5

2 comments:

Beastlyone said...

Romans 1:25- "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen." This concept that Paul describes is so easy for us to do. We take something good, including sports or family or making money or serving humanity, and we make it the centerpiece of our life. I'm reminded of the Israelites in 1 Samuel 4, where they get beaten and, instead of seeking God with penitent hearts, they say, "Let us bring the ark of the LORD's covenant from Shiloh, so that it may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies." They took something great that God had given them(A created thing) and chose to "worship" it instead of God(the Creator).
I have to ask myself all the time, "If God were to require the life of my wife and kids, would I still worship Him and live my life for Him?" My answer determines whether I am dependent on God or dependent on the things that God does for me, the created things.
Thanks for the post, Augustine.

~Silver Lining~ said...

Your post has really made me re-think why I do the things I do. This experiment has reminded me that He is the True Reason and that the other things should be kept as just "extra-curricular" activities. Thanks for your thoughts!