Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Monking in the Real World

After Chad had to slip out and the fight club boyz regurgitated many relevant and absurd topics over Starbucks in Barnes and Noble, Rains, Glenn and I settled on monking in the real world. This seem to resonate with us as a part of the calling that God was ushering us into. It seems to be some of the reason he called us out of "vocational" ministry and to getting jobs in and amongst people and not in a church office. I'm not here to say that one is right or wrong, just to say that this is what we have been called to and find our present joy in. We have been quite influenced by the writings of Henri Nouwen, Eugene Peterson, Dallas Willard, Brother Lawrence, Richard Foster and the like. At the same time, we are church planters by nature, giftedness and calling. We desire to plant communities of faith with people in every part of our lives. So we desire to do our monking in the real world amongst people, jobs, families and seductive influences.
So what is monking in the real world? I suppose its creating space in your life for deep community, simplicity, humility, hospitality, dying to self, prayer, solitude, sacred encounters of the divine, hard work, loving neighbor, missional living/thinking/talking/listening, seeing Kingdom come all around you. I suppose its something like that. I seek depth and clarity, not relevance in this world. I want to be quiet so that I have something worth saying. I want to spend time in reflection so I have something worth writing. I want to center my life in Christ so that I have the urge to love a stranger. I want to be filled with the Spirit so that I have the capacity to be a conduit of the Kingdom to my neighbor. I want to sit and listen to God so he can teach me to listen to others. I want live in community so that my life is a bigger expression than my individualism. I want to die to my neighbor so that I can finally love them and not need their affirmation. I want to live simply so that I have the time and attention to provide hospitality. I want to monk in the real world.

"What could please God more than for us to leave the cares of the world temporarily in order to worship Him in our spirits? These momentary retreats serve to free us from our selfishness, which can only exist in the world. In short, we cannot show God our loyalty to Him more than by renouncing our worldly selves as much as a thousand times a day to enjoy even a single moment with Him." -Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

stop and breathe in the Kingdom of God today.


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