Have you seen this in friends, family or other people around your life? Have you wondered why?
Here are my two cents:
I think there’s a drive to live within people – and I mean really live. I believe many become worn out from the shallow lifestyles we’re invited to live and I think many are on the lookout for something more, something deeper.
The journey for depth and real significance is also somewhat an enigma because we’re often hard pressed to know, really know, someone who embodies life at the fullest. For one, we’re often too busy to sit down and ask the question, “Who knows how to live and what can I learn from them?” Or, “What does it mean to really live and how do I know this?” (Being too busy kills life at the fullest and it’s possibility to flourish. Life needs time to bloom and this requires what Jesus refers to as “sabbath.”)
Another point: I think it’s often easier to Google multiple religions and practice them in our own privacy, on our own terms, etc. Again, because of the exhalation of busyness, we have less time for deep relationship and that means we need to find shortcuts to find depth. (Deep and shortcut don’t play well together.)
Now, here’s my question for the moment: what is it about a Christian that would send him or her to the Google search for other religious practices? I think it’s because we’re often told about a shortcut Jesus who doesn’t have a lot to do with life today – living deeply. I mean, Jesus gets shrunk into a bar-code stamp to get into heaven (to borrow a Dallas Willard illustration). When this shallow teaching on Jesus comes to us, Jesus as the Way, Truth, and Life is diminished as “get into heaven when you die.” Bummer. The depth of Jesus as the Way, Truth, and Life is that in Jesus we are brought to God to live now and forever – and I mean really live. God holds nothing against us – no need for us to be punished or to be perfect – because Jesus has taken the place for those things. But, that’s the start. Way – Truth – Life : these things are about growth and transformation – blooming in this relationship with the God who is the author and source of all life. And BOOM, we have it! Depth.
But how do we get there? I think we need to re-look at the word “disciple.” I mean, we might even need to figure out how to talk about it because the word has been abused and cliched into all kinds of things that aren’t anything of it’s intent: apprenticeship to Jesus to learn from God in Person how to live, knowing all along that because of God’s love for us in Jesus, we will live eternally. Eternally meaning quality and quantity.
So I guess it’s time to re-look at Jesus. What does he mean when he says, “make disciples.”