Punching your spiritual time card

By Dave Henning / October 11, 2022

“Hope does not grow in isolation.  When we gather and lift each other up, our hope is stoked, our faith-coals are pushed together, igniting new flames. . . .  If you think ‘church’ is about driving to a building or punching your spiritual time card or dressing up and looking the part of a put-together person, then you need some stoking, my friend.”- Timothy D. Willard

Timothy Willard concludes Chapter 10 of The Beauty Chasers as he talks about the beauty of layers.  Although Timothy never understood the significance of layering anything.  Until he tried his hand at watercolor painting.  Most significantly, the author discovered, participation possesses the power of epiphany.  In other words, you never know unless you try.

Hence, in life we replace the layering of watercolors with the interaction of people, places, and objects.  These things, Timothy observes, swim in an atmosphere filled with the roundness of God.  As a result, life invites us in for a closer look — and invites us to participate in the mystery.  Therefore, the author exhorts:

“I am responsible for the well-being of my body and soul, and when I remove myself from the beauty of this world, I am essentially removing myself from one of God’s gifts to humanity.  Beauty is God’s trap for the world, says [Simone]Weil.  He uses it to remind us, to win us, to open us up to the beauty of heaven.”

In conclusion, Timothy cautions against chasing the ‘inner ring.’  Because it’s a pursuit that moves against building togetherness.  Therefore, even in the face of peer pressure, we must always remain ourselves.  For inner ring acceptance carries a heavy cost.  A fleeting pleasure.  Above all, what you see and desire from the outside vanishes once you get there.

Consequently, to live as an outsider, know that God appreciates you.  Also, as C. S. Lewis once said:

“Until you conquer your fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain.”

Today’s question: What Bible verses keep you from viewing worship as punching your spiritual time card?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A kaleidoscope world: intricacies”

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Dave Henning

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