Thursday, September 8, 2011

The spiritual health of places -

As I alternate living between Hilo, HI and Sacramento, I have sensed differences between spiritual calm and tension, respectively. Here in Hilo there is a "pace", a spirit of aloha as Hawaiians call it. It is evident in how people treat each other (most of them anyway), and most notably for me, how they always yield to others on the roadways.

On the other hand, California and my beloved City of Sacraments has a spirit of anger and tension. Whether due to politics, crime, economy or just everyone always in a hurry I can't say. But, I find myself struggling to maintain my own personal spirit of aloha (for me the spirit & character of Christ) when I'm back in Sac.

I realize this may have benefits for practicing spiritual discipline, as the tension "drives" me to seek Him more intentionally there. Contrastingly though, the spirit of love in Hilo reminds me continually of our loving Father God, which prompts thanksgiving and a grateful heart,as well as a "drawing to Him".

What to do with such "openings"? I continue to seek Him wherever I am, trusting His Son's assurance that He is near. To persevere in faith, even more so in the places and people of tension. And of course, I seek out "thin places" in and around our City of Sacraments. I continue to follow Jesus by Grace and in His strength, hoping to be a source of His love and light (however small mine is) trusting Him with outcomes, etc.

I also try encourage others to do likewise, AND, I try to introduce others to Jesus; first through actions & attitude, later through gentle words and personal introduction to and invitation from Him. Getting around assumptions and biases, the historical and institutional church, even the words (Christian, Christianity, religion and more), presents challenges, but submitting to Jesus allows The Spirit to work in ways we cannot anticipate.

This journey on The Narrow Road is one we were all created to take, our adventures may be very different, but our destination is the same - a new heaven and new earth. Our responsibility is to encourage one another, and gently invite others to join us. Be encouraged in Him; Father, Son & Spirit.

only by Grace,


P.S. One place we can all do better as Christians (The Body of Christ, the organism called church) is in our institutional churches. Avoiding a spirit of competition and fostering a spirit of cooperation and collaboration will go a long way to introducing others to Jesus by reflecting His Character; love, humility, grace and mercy.

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