i'm a follower of jesus. essentially, that means that i try to live out (external world, what i do) and "think out" (in my internal world, faith, belief, etc.) the message and teachings of jesus of nazareth who claimed to be the king and deliverer of the world.
i'm coming to believe that a key indicator of how i'm doing as a follower of jesus exists mainly in my house- my place of living, sleeping, eating- and not in my church-related activities. i am who i am really when no one is looking and when i'm with those i live with. so when i find that i'm crankly, irritable, impatient, unkind, stand-offish, uninvolved with my wife and kids, i know something's wrong. maybe you don't have a wife and kids, but have a roommate. who you are with your roommate is a mirror for you.
last night was the end of a long day in the dalach house...i started the day living out most of the negative list above and it quickly spread to everyone else. at the end, of the day we were crying out to God for help. one of the things that came from praying was that we needed to listen to music first thing in the morning that puts us in the mindset of loving God and others.
"music? that's it? been there, done that! how many times do i need to do those really simple things!?" but it was really helpful. and it points to a principle that keeps popping it's head up over and over again.....
a key to continuing strongly as a jesus-follower is to keep coming back to the basics.
God-centered music in the morning is something that i've known about for years. that praying to God in the midst of darkness usually turns my perspective around is a, "yeah, duh!" and i so quickly forget that telling someone else about my screw-ups and straight-up rebellion is incredibly freeing and healing.
what are your basics? what keeps you on track? what are the things in the past that you don't do/think now that keep you centered on jesus?
i envision the jesus-centered life as a spiral. on one side of the spiral are elementary things....basic beliefs, practices, habits that are common to many who follow jesus. as we live life, we spiral away from some of the basics, sometimes to learn deeper things, sometimes because of busyness and unhelpful things. then hunger for God brings us back to basics, but this time the basics are in a new light.
so seek the basics. embrace the simple things of God that draw you in. spiral back to them often and God will meet you and make you more like jesus.