Eddie and Sue Arthur

A Vision for Your Life

You can read a talk by Dave Burke on having a vision for your life here. It’s well worth a read. I was particularly impressed with his sections on church life; try this for size:

There are two kinds of churches, tidy churches and messy churches. Let me explain! Many of us will not rest until every single activity is pinned down with a date, a time and a place. Everybody is on a rota of some kind and every week of the year is accounted for. This is good – we have to be organised – but in our instinct for organisation and planning we must not kill the passion for grabbing opportunities and seeing where they may lead.

A couple of friends of mine recently decided to get married and were looking for a venue for the reception. Money is tight and they approached a local church with nice facilities and asked of they could have the reception on their premises. The couple went to see the church and chat with the people there, but the conversation only lasted five minutes before the couple left.

The girl, you see, is from India. She pointed out that most of her family would be flying in for the wedding and that the food would be prepared by a local firm of Indian caterers. There was a pause. Then the church people explained that it would not be possible to host the reception because the smell of curry would linger in the kitchen and upset people on Sunday.

That’s tidy church!

Now don’t get me wrong, messy church is organised. It has to be more organised than tidy church because they are so switched on! But messy church grabs opportunities by the throat. Messy church says… Indians… curry… yum-yum! Messy church says, “Dozens of Hindus in our building – never mind the smell of curry, let’s order some literature!”

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4 Comments on “A Vision for Your Life

  1. You’re right, that is good. A bit earlier Burke says “If you’re glorifying God and enjoying him; if you’re loving him and pleasing him; what does it look like?” Good question, especially when I spend my day infront of the computer and my evenings watching CSI. What does it look like?

  2. I don’t know, Phil. When I was growing up, it simply meant having a good quiet time and going to all of the meetings (means of grace) that the church could pack into the week. But, now that I realise that this isn’t what discipleship is about, I’ve yet to fully understand the positive side of the equation. But, I feel good that I’ve got friends asking the same question.

  3. I seem to have in my head that it shouldn’t be so difficult. It’s who we are, it’s what we do, it’s how we interact, etc… but I’m just not sure I’ve completely got ‘it’. I kind of feel that I’m standing on the edge of this big abyss, with a glorious, wonderful way of life just on the other side, but at this point it’s just a little out of reach. I think I’m getting closer, but I’m not sure.

    It all hurts my head a little bit, but I kind of like it.

  4. ‘A friend of mine (Mark) walks in the mountains with a group of friends who are not Christians. He is not an in-your-face kind of believer, but he is able naturally to ‘be’ a Christian with his pals. Last week he was walking and one of the group sidled up to him to talk about his anxieties over his job. Later, another walker quietly asked him to pray for his wife who is very ill. Mark said, ‘You don’t have to force the issue (of the gospel), it just comes oozing out! I think that this is what ‘it’ looks like.

    Enjoy life, enjoy people and the rest will just happen.

    What is interesting is the fact that Christians can be credible and even admirable even though they are only ‘half-formed’, as it were. Before I became a Christian I was intrigued by the lives of people I now know to be quite ordinary in terms of Christian discipleship – so you do not have to be enjoying a ‘deeper life’ – it is natural and just oozes out of you, whether you are conscious of it or not (2 Cor. 2:14-17). Over the years I have discovered that Christians have something about them that draws others attention provided that a)they are in daily contact with others and b)they are able to be acceptably overt about their faith.

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