This a phrase sometimes used with AA or an exercise regimen and it’s good advice but there is another place where the expression is most useful -to the soul. It’s where Jesus says, ‘Stay with me’. (John 15:4) It’s the same words that Jesus used in the Garden of Gethsemane when he said to the disciples to simply stay with him and keep awake. (Matthew 26:38) The Greek word, pronounced, “men’no” means simply to be, or remain, or abide, and it reminds me of the Psalm phrase, ‘Be still…’ (from Psalm 46).
Christians think too much about too many things. We are like Martha, ‘worried about so many things.’ (Luke 10:41) I mean things like doctrines, beliefs, who is in and who is out. And our minds are too focused on ‘doing’, not that there is anything wrong with ‘doing’. Recall that faith without works is dead. But we can become more occupied with the things done than why are we are engaged to begin with; with that comes guilt and shame. ‘I should have.’ ‘I could have.’
Here’s what can happen. After many years of being active in ministry I find myself at a place of more questioning, walking away from all the dogmas, doctrines, beliefs, and whatever else you might want to call them. I got tired of them and their insinuations into my life, especially my spiritual life. So now, besides writing this blog I am more about just ‘staying with Christ’ without any formula or direction. Now, I just ‘am’ with Christ, waiting on his direction to my soul and life.
I feel like the vine attached to the branch/root where Christ will give the life and growth. I want his will but since I don’t want to get wrapped up in some kind of program or 10 steps to finding it, I’d rather just wait with no expectations on my part and none from the madding crowd.
For example, tithing has always been a part of our lives (not that tithing is a biblical mandate). But now we don’t try to figure how much is 10%. Rather we wait for a word to sustain the vine. For a while I was unsettled about that but recently have come to a place of God’s peace in the matter. Knowing my wife’s generosity I probably have nothing left for buying baseball cards. Sure it’s a small example but it bears upon other things in my life and, generally, in the Christian’s life. It’s almost like there is no commandment but to ‘hang in there’ or not, in the sureness of Christ’s love for us.
Ah, already I hear some ‘whining’ about such a cavalier attitude. Don’t worry. ‘One day at a time,’ is what I hear some folks say.