When you live with depression & anxiety it seems you’ll question almost anything.
In the time of Jesus, the Christian Church didn’t exist. In fact, the Christian movement was an underground cult formed around a charismatic Jew who claimed among other things, to be the Son of God.
After his death, estimated to be at the age of 33, His followers retreated into obscurity until a series of miraculous encounters brought them out on a day known for the Pentecost. That day, it was the miraculous that again, bound together the people who would form the “Acts 2” church model widely purported to be the model on which the modern Christian church is based.
Aside from the many common perversions of the church over time, it seems to be that one fundamental element remains forgotten. The people. Those devoted to the teaching of Christ who were brought together by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
On reflection it seems to me the Christian movement, in this generation, has devoted itself to the worship of it’s cultural environment and the way it can best represent itself to it’s market. KAPOW!
Being a businessperson at heart, I see all those things you’d expect to see in an averagely conceived marketing campaign. The carefully assembled adjectives condensed to represent the core features the product offers. The bright and shiny images of middle class faces displaying their contentment with life. Sermons delivered in an attempt to move us from where we are into a more culturally acceptable lifestyle. BAM!
At my core, in the broken, humbled part of me, I’m desperate NOT for an encounter with the things that I can find anywhere, but for a miraculous encounter with God. The encounter that tells me I am loved for who I am not who I can be. I am accepted for who I am. I am worthy.
It seems, in my limited view, that the only way I can feel those things is to be provided an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the greater good. To take a place that meets my ability to contribute without feeling the need to be something other than what I am. Broken.
I can hear you thinking that perhaps I lack goals or aspirations to improve and grow, but you need to keep reading.
You see, I think it’s in this place of meaningful contribution that miraculous encounters happen. When God, through his Holy Spirit holds up a looking glass and allows us to see ourselves as He sees us. Not locked inside some gilded cage prepared for the benefit of being culturally relevant. But in the freedom of flight.
Not unlike the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit allowed all those present to hear in their own language, God miraculously bestows on us an opportunity to see in our own eyes the flight He has prepared for us.
It’s a miracle not for the faint hearted. Because once you’ve encountered the miraculous it’s impossible not to change. And, accepting you’ve been created for a self guided journey rather than a comfortable caged existence comes with the responsibility, to not only contribute, but to accept the contributions of others on their own journey.
Proceed with care. Humanity by it’s very nature will help find you a gilded cage that may eventually become your prison.
Something from Salvador Dali: “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”
Deb Shugg is an awarded business woman, wife & mother, author and a sufferer of depression and anxiety. To contact Deb click here.
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(Abuse of another person is NEVER okay. If you are being abused or, if you are an abuser please seek help.)