Blogger and pastor Brad Hightower wrote me a personal and thoughtful email, disagreeing with the "path" that I am heading with these series of posts on creation, nature and recreation. Brad is a smart, sincere and committed guy (whom I really enjoyed getting to know over lunch one day) and I appreciate and respect his perspective. We obviously disagree a bit on some of these things and so in the name of healthy dialogue, I asked Brad if I could post his email and then my response. So, today, Brad's email. Then next post, my response and we'll see where this heads. Thanks Brad for stirring things up a bit!
I really have an honest question or maybe an honest
Let me state my perspective and a bit of my story.
I used to be a pretty stressed out guy. In fact three
years ago I was driven away in an ambulance for "chest
pains". It turned out to be stress. Well, today that
is totally changed. I work probably twice as hard as I
used to, I haven't had any vacations to speak of, but
I am as peaceful as Mother Teresa. In fact since that
time three years ago, I have started to pastor a
church on top of my six kids and my day job.
This has come about by redoubling my use of the
teachings of Jesus as the kingdom way to true
happiness and a heavenly quality of life.
I think this relates to our culture considerably. We
live in a stressed out culture and we as spiritual men
and women have a perfect answer to a stress free life.
What do most people use to relieve stress. Answer:
creation. Yep, most of my pagan friends (and I have a
lot) go on vacation. In the church, the same is true.
We enjoy the creation. That is the way that the world
finds peace. Of course this path takes a lot of money.
So usually we buy a travel trailer and seek to retire.
Is it possible that anyone in your church has likewise
choosen this less than spiritual path? (or is that
only a problem up here in south Los Angeles). LOL
I think this is simply another way to medicate.
Instead, there is a better way, a way of spirituality
and being of service.
So my point is a pretty big one: "Is your approach to
"seeing God's glory in all the earth" the spiritual
path by which we are actually called to "see God's
glory in all the earth"?"
I have found that when we take an orientation toward
life which is pure in heart, then in all things we see
God. When we live one day at a time, when we purify
our hearts of all resentments and fear and the love of
money, when we see the care of God and then simply do
unto others, then we see God in all the earth and live
in perfect peace. I have found that this relieves me
of any need to get away from it all.
This is basically my take on the sabbath.
PS. Also, so you can get a bit more on where I am coming from with the "path to peace" stuff I talk about in this comment. You might
look at an essay I posted. I posted a very extensive essay on my discipleship method called Discipleship 101. This is my whole blog point in one post.