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More Thoughts on Living Life as a Long-Term Project

August 28, 2007

Inspired by my Stupid Statement #1 blog and your responses, I’ve been thinking a lot about time and the future. Maybe that “live every day as if it were your last day” statement was not so stupid after all, since it inspired deep thought and meaningful discussion.

Question. Should we live in the past, for the moment, or for the future? Should we live as if today is our last day, or as if we have a thousand more today’s?

My eclectic religious experience supplied me with the foundation to be either very balanced or very confused, because it enables me to do all three.

1.    My liturgical Episcopal experience taught me to appreciate the past. Gothic architecture. Gregorian Chants. Ancient rituals. Organ music. Ornate robes. Incense. Candles. Priests. Everything seemed to be about looking back and learning from the past.

2.    My spontaneous Charismatic experience taught me to savor the moment. Much of my varied experience in the Charismatic movement had little connection to the past or the future – it was about the moment, the divine touch that would knock you to the ground and change you forever, or at least until the next meeting.

3.    My Reformed Presbyterian experience taught me to prepare for the future… the eternal future and the temporal future. Thankfully, I am reformed enough to see the future through the filter of the sovereignty of God and the promises of Scripture. Therefore, I see time as my ally not my enemy. Real spirituality takes time.

I guess when it comes to time, I lean not to the inexplicable mystery of traditional liturgy, not to the instant cure-all of the charismatic zap, but to the slow and sometimes painful process of sanctification and discipleship.

From the Reformed perspective, time really is on our side, because God really is in charge.

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