Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Becoming a Cool Monk (or Galatians remix pt 2)

Finishing the first chapter of Galatians has brought to the surface a former (and constant) desire that i have had to become a monk, at least temporarily. Monks seclude themselves from the world in cloister of solitude where they meditate on God and are filled with the knowledge and mystery found in God. This sounds attractive to me, yet i dont think i could make it more than a month, check that, more than a week without wondering what is going on in the world of Facebook and Twitter. Therefore i want to be a "cool" monk. But not the kind that lives in the inner city in some cool commune with some trendy Christian/Science Fiction name like, Synergy, Sanctus Virtuosity or The Elements. I want to be a temporary cool monk. Only from time to time. I even have it all planned out. Rent a cabin by a moving bidy of water that has a cool deck with a hot tub. No entirely rustic, but who said i was grizzly adams. Of course i would not want internet acces, but i would enjoy plenty of books that would hel me meditate on Christ and being set apart. Id take a supply of my favorite CAO cigars and live off of bacon, eggs, country ham, steak and beef jerky.
Seriously, when reading about Paul going away for 3 years, i sat and wondered what he did during that time. Im sure he involved himself in some sort of environment that i created, with the intentionality of focusing and seeking Christ. He did this for 3 years. Sometimes i find it hard to do this for 3 minutes. The idea is not that we must separate ourselves for months or years at a time, but rather retreat away to seek His face alone and with intentionality. Christ has called us to love others. We cannot adequately love others with being full of the one who is love Himself, God. Being intentional with prayer, scripture and fellowship is something that i have become convicted of. We are called to separate ourselves from worldly ways, yet id venture out and say that it seems that 90 percent of my life is concerned with the world. That is a generous guesstimate at that. I feel convicted over the way i have been concerned with the world and its ways. "It is when we stop actively loving Him that we find ourselves restless and gravitating toward other means of fulfillment." Francis Chan said it best to me. I find that if we are not intentional with Christ, we definitely gravitate towards the world and find our love in temporary pleasures in the world. Having times that we separate ourselves from all but Christ, is essential to the growth process. There is nothing better than being with Christ in a cabin listening to the flowing water, in the hot tub with a lit cigar and some good worship going. (of course singing worship to my king so loud that the bears, coyotes, and "deliverance folk" would not want to be within 5 miles of the cabin.)
My hope is that as Paul took this time to prepare for ministry, that i would not forget to take time out for the Lord, not just daily, but at times for full weekends-weeks in which the intentionality of worship, listening and meditation will become common place. I want to meet God and experience Him in ways unimaginable. Feeling the glory of his presence and becoming satisfied in His mystery.

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