July 16, 2009

Bigger than ourselves

Our new pastor out here said something last Sunday that I've been thinking about all week. He was referring to an author who was writing about how on the whole Americans aren't really that ambitious -or rather, how Americans tend to be rather narrow in our ambitions. By this author's estimation American ambition is mostly concerned with upward mobility ie parent's working hard to afford a good home and good schools so their kids can get good degrees and afford even better housing and schooling for their children and so on and so forth. Apparently the author views this as a rather narrow, self-concerned ambitions. What is really ambitious, to his mind, are those Christians who say "I'm going to devote myself to the reading and studying of God's Word, the Bible." According to our pastor this fellow isn't even a Christian, and yet he realizes that to devote yourself to God's Word is to devote yourself to something far bigger and more meaningful than just ourselves. I've been thinking about that all week. I've heard of so many people talking about wanting to be part of something bigger than themselves. I've thought it myself quite a bit, and yet I don't think any of them have actually said that picking up your Bible and reading some psalms or part of the Gospels would be, in that moment, throwing ourselves into something bigger than ourselves. At some level I think we all know it, and yet I think we get caught up in thinking that there are people (missionaries, pastors, leaders of great causes) who are definitely doing something great for the world and forget that perhaps there are much smaller ways to do great things. I'll admit I'm pretty remiss in my Bible reading, but maybe next time I start thinking that my life doesn't count for so very much or that there's nothing I can do I'll take a moment to open my Bible. It's a thought.

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