On the days that I write, I spend the first hour of my "writing time" studying. I'm going through four different books at the moment: The Portable Seminary, Following Jesus by N.T. Wright, The Bible, and my brother's first book, Metamorpha. I started Metamorpha today, even though I edited the whole thing last summer, because reading for editing and reading for edification are two very different things. Back then I read for grammar and cohesion and organization; today I read because I've known for so many years that my spiritual life is anemic and whithering and I just didn't know why.
One sentence stuck out to me and really hit home: "The Christian life is not living out how we already see; it is a journey of redemption." It's not about walking through the door of conversion and being done. It's not about simply turning our back on certain beliefs and actions. It's about constant, unending, Spirit-led change: a journey that ends only when we go Home. You're not done when you pray the sinner's prayer; you're just starting.
On one level I have always known this. Of course there's more to it than just that quick prayer--there's the daily struggle against the flesh, against sin, blah blah blah. But if there's supposed to be a relationship with God, then there should be more than just struggle, right? A life of nothing but fighting can't be all the Christian life is supposed to be.
Having read Metamorpha already, I know what's coming up, and I know that reading it is going to change me--thank heavens, it's about time! But I don't want to do it alone. I'm inviting you to join me.
Kyle has written a curriculum that is available--free!--from the book's website. (Click on "dowloads" at the top.) I'm going to read a chapter a week and go through the curriculum, and then post to the blog about what I've read. (Part of each lesson actually includes blog ideas--how cool is that?) If you'd like to do the same, let me know and I'll set up a whole new list of links to every participating blog, so we can all read each other's repsonses and leave comments of insight and encouragement for each other. (A leader's guide is also available, so if you're in a small group that is looking for a new study, point your leader to Metamorpha!)
I really hope some of you will come along with me on this journey. Roadtrips are always more fun with a crowd. :) And I pray that God uses this book and this experience to renew your spiritual life and breath fresh air into your relationship with him.
Time to read...and morph!