Early on in my spiritual journey I was told that....
"Now you are a Christian you have to:
- read your Bible every day,
- you have to have a quiet time every day (preferably early in the morning because thats what David did),
- you must go to all the meetings because thats how you will grow, and if you don't the world will devour you."
That was 29 years ago. Also about 20 years ago. Maybe even 15 years ago.
I may even have heard something similar this year.
I have realised during these years that there is nothing "have to" about our spiritual walk. It's not that you have to do those things, but it's because you love God that you want to. You want to read the Bible, because it's how you get to know him and his heart - but he will not fall off his throne if you don't read it everyday. I have also realised that 'quiet times' are a personal thing, and God has no expectations of me as to when, where or how this happens. I have found him to be most adventurous in meeting me exactly where I am.
Sometimes I feel as though I take 2 steps forward in my spiritual journey and then 3 steps back when I hear: "That if we don't go to every meeting then the message we are sending to those around us is that something else is more important than God."
Seriously? If my passion for Jesus is measured by my attendance at Church meetings, let's face it, I may be in trouble. I doubt very much that God measures my passion for him in this way. It is far more likely that people do. So who should I please?
I see Jesus hanging out with people. He didn't hang out in meetings.... or only with the 12!
I would love to be part of conversations where people of all faiths, backgrounds or lifestyle choices are free to hang out and talk about what and how they believe, and everyone knows that their view and understanding of Scripture and of life, is important. We don't have to agree, but we can listen to one another, gain new insights, and learn from one another, rather than judging one another.
I am not against the family of God meeting together, let me please make this clear. It's an important part of our family-life- but how this happens, and the shapes it could take, could look so different if we took the risk.
I just KNOW there is more. There has to be.