"Weekly Reflections"



Compiled by Allen Thyssen

Dedicated to the Students of NationsUniversity & beyond
"May you learn from both my successes and my failures."

 


17 SEPTEMBER 2017

"OLYMPIC" SPIRITUALITY

There is an "ice breaker" we often use to introduce people and establish rapport during training events. Each attendee is asked to share something about themselves that no one else knows. For example I might offer, "I play the baritone horn. It has been over fifty years since I performed in public, but I still enjoy playing it at home." As a follow up, I am often asked how long it takes to learn to play a musical instrument, like the baritone. My response is the same as what might be said about Olympic athletes. It takes roughly 6,000 hours to master such a skill. Now, I am not an "Olympic" level musician. I never put in the time and effort it takes to become one. But I do have enough skill to enjoy the baritone at home.

Most recipients of this Reflection are students of NationsUniversity. They have an intent to become knowledgeable in the area of Biblical Studies, perhaps even becoming a Biblical scholar. How long will it take to achieve "Olympic" proficiency in this "skill"? Perhaps 6,000 hours? At one hour a day that works out to roughly 16 years! Fortunately, man's relationship with God is not based solely on a comprehensive knowledge of the Bible. Restoration of one's relationship with God does not require a 6,000 hour apprenticeship. It strikes me that while there is the "fast track" to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, there is also an ongoing path to a deeper level of "holiness". Yes, most of us believe the Bible teaches that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus; but on another level "truly seeking God" is not a static process. A deeper sense of "holiness" evolves as we are transformed over time into an awareness of our true selves, the image of God, and begin to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit in our daily lives. So one might say there is an initial "faith", longer term Biblical "scholarship", and ultimately a more fully transformed, holy life. And yes, in the end the process probably does take a lifetime!

Where are you in the journey? Perhaps you are beginning with a simple inquisitiveness about God and spirituality. Or are you already seriously studying the Bible as a means to sharing the "gospel" with others. Perhaps you have been on the journey for many years and can now see the fruit of the Spirit blossoming forth in your life. Or perhaps you started on the journey but have fallen off the path. In any case we can all choose to (re)dedicate ourselves to the process with the goal of becoming even more skilled in the "spiritual arts".

And by the way, I recently joined a "community band" and performed publically after 53 years of playing the baritone privately at home!

Blessings and peace in the coming week,

Chaplain Allen