Order of Operations

So... I took a break from "hello kitty" to post....

I have been seeing these bumper stickers, mostly because my mom sells them at her store now, Treasures (www.TreasuresChristian.com). The bumper sticker is really kinda trendy but cool looking and the theme behind them is "order of operations." The order of operations these bumper stickers suggest is 1. God 2. Family and 3.Job.

If you've read my blog since the beginning you know I am a firm believer that this world is "drenched in God," consumed by a God who takes great interest in everything that happens. In light of this thought I have a little problem with this "order of operations," maybe a couple. first of all this is just another system of thought Christians are using to manage life instead of live it. Also you may notice that God is, in this "order of operations," separate from the family and work as though there are things you do for God and then there is your family and then there is the job. This, in everyday language, is call compartmentaliziaion. It's a thought process that assumes that life is to be lived with everything in it's place, God in His... The family in theirs... the job in it's. Everything has it's place in a compartmentalized life. Jesus asks us to live a completely different kind of life, away from systems, a holistisc kind of life.

Something interesting I recently read (in the best book since the Bible) Velvet Elivs, which I finished already (fast for me). The hebrew word we most commonly interperet as peace, Shalom, means much more than "peace." we most often think of peace as an escape from strife or "the abcence of conflict." "Shalom is the presence of the goodness of God. It's the presence of wholeness, completeness." The Rabbis among others (including a special Rabbi we like alot on this blog, Jesus) would wish Shalom on eachother, saying "go in peace." This was more than just "I hope everything goes ok for you" it's a bleesing of the presence of God in and through one's entire being, entire life.

going back to "order of operations." By the way My goal here is not to knock the bumper sticker rather to consider it's implications. To place God outside the sphere of work and home is completely against what God really wants for us, it's against the way we're called to live, it's against Shalom. to live the way of peace, to live in Harmony with god is to invite Him... Rather acknowlege Him and affirm His presence in everything we do. It's to have eyes that see, to see God and His goodness in and through family... in and through your job... in and through your times of rest... in and through your meals... in and through your entire life, your entire existance. Don't treat God as if His will somehow floats in a space separate from your family and your job and your daily experiences.

By the way, the Treasures website, www.TreasuresChristian.com , really wants to be used. If you got any books you want to read like... let's say "Velvet Elvis" go ahead and order it on the "shop treasures" link and make Treasures your new online book source (she sells other stuff too) and stop supporting the evil empire of Amazon.com, thanks and Shalom.


IMO said…
Wes, I will have to say that so far I am greatly inspired and feel the Spirit of God in everything that you write. This is only so on a small handful of blogs that I read. In most places, God goes in and out--sometimes there and sometimes not.

I am going to share that in our gathering asap, I liked your perspective on it and you are SO right. I don't compartmentalize God usually--He has become part of everything in my life, but the type of thinking as in that bumper sticker is everywhere and it is that thinking that makes people also think and act as if Jesus is in a building because we don't see Jesus in the people, but in the building. GREAT stuff!

Oh, that book sounds GREAT--I will go to your mom's store!
Amy-Jo said…
So glad to know there are other Velvet Elvis book readers out there. Great thoughts...in fact I am getting ready to teach "Shalom" to my small group this year. Rob does such a great job of making me struggle with the way I thought of living the Christian life. I have grown so much from conversations about the way he presents things. I will check out Shop Treasures. Shalom! :)