Wednesday, August 10, 2011

When "How do I live" is the most pressing spiritual question

From the Washington Post "On Faith" pages,

"...Believers ask me: What gives you comfort? What gives you hope? What explains suffering? What explains love?

But I don’t have answers; that’s the point. I cannot explain, I do not know; and therefore I have wonder. I have awe. And given all that I do not know, all I cannot answer or explain, the most pressing spiritual question becomes not What do I believe? but How do I live?

What do I choose, how do I act, here and now, in this crush of seven billion bodies, on this spinning sphere? What can I give?

Last week, I sat in my Twelve Step meeting and watched as the heavy green sky lifted and late-day light poured into the room. I thought of what Martin Luther wrote: that the only necessary prayer was ‘thank you.’ So I prayed.

And how is it that both calm and violent things,

Like star and storm, know you so well? —Because I praise.

Marya Hornbacher is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated national bestseller Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia. Her new book, WAITING: A Nonbelievers Higher Power was just published. Marya is an award-winning journalist, who lectures nationally on writing and mental health and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota."

Read it all here.

Contrast this with St. Paul who in the course of his letter to the Romans (which was Sunday's epistle reading) takes the "What do I believe" side of the argument.
Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that ‘the person who does these things will live by them.’ But the righteousness that comes from faith says, ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?” ’ (that is, to bring Christ down) ‘or “Who will descend into the abyss?” ’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say?
‘The word is near you,
on your lips and in your heart’
(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ Romans 10:5-15

"How do I live" is no longer a pressing spiritual question once you accept and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and savior. The answer has been given to us, freely in His life and sacrifice. The spiritual problem is listening to that answer.

3 comments:

  1. "How do I live" is the the wrong question. If, as St. Paul write, it is "Christ who lives in me," then the correct question is, "Lord, how do I get me out of Your way?"

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. For the secular atheist, to answer her question, she has to give up and step out of the way and let Christ in.

    ReplyDelete
  3. For the secular atheist, to answer her question, she has to give up and step out of the way and let Christ in.

    ReplyDelete