We need altars that renew our faith

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By Dave Henning / September 18, 2020

We need altars that renew our faith by reminding us of the faithfulness of God.  And every once in a while, we need to go back to those sacred places to repent of our sin, renew our covenant with God, and celebrate what God has done.”- Mark Batterson

“And all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat, pair by pair.  Then Noah built an altar to the Lord.”- Genesis 8:19-20 (NLT)

Mark Batterson moves on in Chapter 3 of Wild Goose Chase as he notes how often people in the Old Testament built altars.  Because, Pastor Batterson observes, we naturally tend to remember what we should forget.  And, forget what we should remember.  Thus, altars help us recall what God doesn’t want us to forget.  Above all, altars provide a sacred place to return to.  So, such spiritual milestones help us find our way back to God.

In addition, Mark thinks that we underestimate the interconnectedness between geography and spirituality.  For, the author asserts, God often uses a change of scenery when He wants us to experience a change in perspective.  As a result, Pastor Batterson came up with this simple formula:

change of place + change of pace = change of perspective

Hence, new places open us up to new experiences, get us out of our routine, and help us see God with new eyes.

However, the author cautions, one important lesson to learn is this: how you finish is far more important than how you start.  Thus, pacing is the key.  For it’s possible to do the work of God at a pace that destroys the work of God in you.

Consequently, God instituted the Sabbath.  The Sabbath creates a holy margin in our lives, keeps the sacred from becoming routine.  Mark adds:

“The word Sabbath means ‘to catch one’s breath’.  A weekly Sabbath is the way our spirits catch up with our bodies.  And if we don’t slow down, we eventually hit the point of diminishing returns. where more is less and less is more. . . .  A Wild Goose chase isn’t a mad dash.  Its more of a triathlon.  And pacing yourself for the journey is critical.”

Today’s question: What sacred places renew your faith?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Heuristic bias – patterned ways”

About the author

Dave Henning

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