Archives For context

This year I’m ignoring the doctor.

My friend Dr. Mike Elmore despises “read through the Bible in a year” plans. He feels they cheapen the experience of connecting with God. Turn His Word into a task to complete in a specific timeframe. A list to check off.

He’s a proponent of meditating deeply on smaller passages of Scripture, sometimes for weeks at a time. Sucking the marrow out of every nook and cranny. Forcing the Word into the context of His everyday world until He can’t help but hear the voice of the Creator speaking softly. Specifically. Clearly. To him.

I can’t argue. It’s transformational.

Few have inspired me as much as Dr. Elmore. But this year I’m blowing him off (after all, he’s a gastroenterologist and this has nothing to do with butts or guts).

Every few years I love to do a complete read through of Scripture. I need the full context. The history. The law. The poetry. The prophets. The gospels. The epistles. To breathe in how the Great Composer orchestrated the totality of His masterpiece.

So I picked up the must have YouVersion app for my iPhone (the online version is great, too), chose a plan, and got to reading.

It’s a great process. A worthwhile discipline. And the YouVersion app (and accompanying community and study notes are outstanding). But I have noticed something. Something I don’t want to admit.

The doctor isn’t an idiot (that’s why he has an M.D. after his name).

You see those check boxes to the left of those Scripture references? If I’m not careful, they can quickly become my enemy. A saboteur. An inoculation against what I’m really after: a genuine connection with my heavenly Father.

It is so easy to make a God task-list and completely miss Him in the process. To make “get through it” the goal, rather than letting it get through me.

So be intentional. Be disciplined. Be purposeful.

But always be cognizant of your tendency to drift from living relationship to little square check boxes.

Out of Context

Erik Cooper —  June 8, 2009 — Leave a comment

I took the morning off to play in the Wayne Township Education Foundation golf outing.  Every June for the past 4 years I’ve gotten the chance to play golf with the current principal of my alma mater, Ben Davis High School.  I love hanging out with Mr. McKinney, but I literally only see him once a year and in this exact location and context.  If I ran into him at the grocery store without his golf shoes and hat, would I even recognize him?  Would he recognize me?  We really only contextually know one another.

I wonder how many of us only know God that way?  Maybe we recognize Him on Sunday a morning, in an auditorium full of people sitting in rows and singing songs together, when some guy stands up and reads out of the Bible.  But if we ran into Him in the mundane reality of a Tuesday afternoon, a Friday evening, at our workplace, in our home, at a restaurant, would we even take notice?  Or would we just give Him that awkward, casual “I think you look familiar” nod?

God so desperately wants to know us in every context.  He wants to relate to us in every moment, not just during a once-a-week (or month) or twice-a-year religious event.

It takes guts to allow God into the everyday.  He might mess with your normal.  But I dare you…try recognizing Him in every context.  It just might change your life.