I have a confession. I used to obsess about sin. I'd sit around with friends - parsing out the pitfalls and snares that could surely be avoided with just the right music, just the right movies and so on. We'd debate at length the pros/cons of violence vs. explicitness. Before that - there were a few semesters when I'd literally walk around campus with at least a couple of nails in my pocket - an ever present reminder that Christ died so I could walk in holiness ... or at least holy Levis. For some reason this tested my mother's holiness - mightily - and she finally got me to stop - by threatening to sew patches all over my hard-earned holey 501's. Gasp!! Apparently I wasn't the only one thinking this though - this was a t-shirt that you could at one point buy at any Christian anything it seemed.
I'd get on a great streak with my morning devotions for a few days - but then miss one - maybe lose my temper - and next thing you know - it'd take me a couple of days to get back on track - because I felt too bad about how I'd blown it to jump right back in. Basically - this was the paradigm regardless of what spiritual discipline, habit or practice I was pursuing.
But - what are you gonna do?
I wanted absolutely no part of NOT chasing after God with my whole heart - and I didn't see anyone doing anything different - maybe there wasn't any other way. Everyone I knew was "trying". Well - not quite - there were some who'd given up on trying and were now very zen about that ... but they weren't offering a better method, or a slicker approach. In fact - in some cases - the "zen" looked like they'd given up.
Is this all there is? You pick a point along the continuum of license verses law - and you take your stand there - not because it's defensible, not because it's effective, not because it's leading to daily renewal? What about all that abundant life jibber-jabber in John 10:10? Or how about being transformed by the renewing of my mind like Romans 12:2 talks about?
And what are those few people doing who look so calm, so serene, so "chill" ... how do I get some of that?
Maybe there is a way.
Maybe there's a few ways - but I think I've found at least one ... and I've been testing it out pretty intensely for a few years now - and I'm so sure that it has legs - I'll tell you - and you try it - and you see if it works for you too.
Come back. I can either flesh out this idea in one, eye-ball desiccating post, or I can split it up - posing questions - taking our time along the way. I don't see the point to rushing.