I bet we would all feel bold if we got mountaintop moments with Jesus, his face aglow, prophets showing up after centuries. Well even if you’ve had mountaintop moments, even if you’re witnessed miracles, none of us live on the mountain. And if we depend on the mountaintop for reassurance, for confidence in our faith, we can't be bold in our faithful living in the day to day. How do we find peace and purpose in your faith, in your most mundane days?
Remember after Jesus comes down from the mountain he heals and ministers to the people. We can’t stay on the mountain, as tempting as it is, because God needs us with the muck and mud of the riverbank, the rocks and dust of the canyon, the life growing and yearning in the valley.
Most of us experience God most boldly in the mountaintops and the canyons of our lives – in the most joyous moments, and in the depths when we cry out and find solace. Many of us find God is most clear in the heights and depths of our lives.
What about the mundane day to day, the bulk of our lives, when we’re not in ecstasy and we’re not in misery – how do we experience God and root into our faith and act with boldness in the day to day?
I think Brethren have some practice with this – we’ve tended to be a practical people, over the past 300 years we’ve maintained that our daily lives, our small and big choices and actions, express our faith. Our faith ancestors realized that we couldn’t preach peace on Sundays and go to war on Mondays....
The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
If you’re living with a secret or shame you’re constantly on guard, looking over your shoulder, fleeing when no one pursues. But when you’re free to be bold, you’re like a lion! Lions don’t second-guess themselves, I bet. Lions are fierce, purposeful, confident.
When we speak and act with love and integrity, we never need to look over our shoulders. No worrying that past words or deeds will come back to haunt us. No draining of our energy on “What if?” and “Who saw?” and “I should’ve.”
What’s distracting you these days? What are you feeling guilty about? Or regret for? What’s got you looking over your shoulder?
Is it something you can quit doing, saying or thinking about? If so, great – let it go, release the energy you’ve got trapped with this situation.
If you can’t just let it go, maybe it’s time to confide your secret in someone you trust, and lighten your own burden.
See yourself living without this burden. See yourself living with the boldness of a lion.
Living our lives with the boldness of lions invites our deepest passion to guide our priorities, and we thrive. A whole congregation of lions – just imagine what impact we can have in this community?!
I’m not suggesting we can do this consistently or perfectly. Certainly we all hold onto memories, habits, desires that we are ashamed of. None of us will ever lead a purely righteous life – and I don’t think that’s what we’re called to do anyway. Love, not purity, is our salvation: right here and now, and in the mysterious beyond.
We are in this place because we are created by an Audacious God, because we follow an Audacious Christ, and together we cultivate an Audacious Spirit...