“At some point most of us stop LIVING OUT OF IMAGINATION and start LIVING OUT OF MEMORY. that’s the day we STOP LIVING and START DYING.” — Mark Batterson
I stumbled upon the tweet above yesterday. It was by no accident. Why? Because I just read these words in the book The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson which had been recommended to me by two completely unrelated people in the same week. Friends, this is how God works. This is how God is getting me to dream and pray. And this is how He’s getting me to understand that dreams and prayer are one in the same. And that without dreams, without prayer, we are merely dying.
Living isn’t a function of breathing
When it comes to living, I’m not calling Descartes a liar. Well, I am, but only because most of us narrowly define the word “think”. Without digressing too far, whether we are living or dying has nothing to do with breathing, eating, or anything else we consider the core functions of life. No, the essence of life is a growing relationship with our Father. The only way for it to grow is to pray and dream and watch God blow our minds time and time again. Only through this process can we begin to understand God, appreciate God and ultimately love God. Growth only happens when we allow God to stretch our understandings of Him. And sometimes, if we’re doing it right, it hurts.
Whether we like it or not, we live in a culture that shackles wisdom to routine and facts. Those seen stepping out of line will be treated harshly. What’s worse, the Church seems to be harsher still. I don’t wish to throw out customs, traditions, and certainly not facts, but I challenge the weight we afford faith. I challenge our understanding of crazy. What we don’t understand, we call crazy. Or worse. Did anyone call Jesus crazy when He told the disciples to bring Him the five loaves and two fish with a crowd of five thousand? Did anyone call Him crazy when He gave thanks before feeding the masses? Is not all of this crazy, though? No. With a smile, I say emphatically it’s not at all.
Living is boldness
Living isn’t “God, help me find a parking spot.” He accomplished more than that on the Seventh Day. Living is asking God to do things we have no chance of doing on our own and we are unsure at best that He can do on a good day. Living is asking God to part the Red Sea in the face of certain death at the hands of the Egyptian army. Living is petitioning God for meat in the middle of the desert to feed 600,000. Look that story up in Numbers 11. Living is crazy.
In this life, we’re either living or dying. If we’re not imagining, dreaming, praying, we’re dying. That’s all there is to it. That is, if we’re not willing to venture into the areas of our doubt, we are stagnating, thus we’re dying. Friends, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m timid to be living. But I’d be writing my own ticket to hell if I didn’t at least explore a life of big, bold, crazy prayer. But, I can’t do it alone. Friends, who’s with me?