When The Fire Fades - The Christian life when you don't "feel it"

It's been a while since I've written on spiritual matters. I just haven't had much to say on the subject lately. I'm going through one of those times where it's just not foremost in my mind.

Is that wrong? To have your spiritual life put on a "back burner" and not be in the fore-front of your heart and mind every second of every day? I'm not talking about being totally turned off or going through the motions. I still go to church, I still pray often, I still read the Bible daily (or to be truthful, I listen to it on my iPod.) Things like that. But it's not like when I first became a Christian, when I had that "fire in the belly" and I wanted every aspect of my life to be all about Christ. Now it's more like smoldering coals and it's a part of the fabric of my life rather than trying to make it the whole thing.

The Bible tells us to "pray without ceasing" and "love the Lord with all your heart, mind, body, and soul" (I'm paraphrasing). Does that mean we devote every moment to spiritual matters? Am I off track by not constantly listening to Christian music or watching the 700 club and replacing all my videos with Gaither Homecoming shows?

Some will tell you that I am, they will tell you if you are not "feeling it" then you are not on the right path. These folks are constantly seeking that "mountaintop" experience. They go to all the conferences and conventions and concerts they can get to. They don't go to movies unless they are made by "Christian" studios, they don't listen to music unless it's played on "Christian" radio.

Others will say the whole purpose of your life as a Christian is to make other Christians. That if you aren't constantly telling people about Christ and "leading them to Christ" and "sharing the Gospel" (and a hundred other ways of saying "share Christ") Then you aren't really a Christian.

Another thing I've heard is that you have to "go to the alter" every once in a while. Like you have to recommit yourself every now and then, like you have to be born again and again and again.

I don't think any of these are on quite the right track. While all of them have a little truth in them, they are all missing the big picture and none of them truly address being in the period of your Spiritual life where it's just kind of "there".

If you are a Christian you might know what I'm talking about. When you first became a Christian you threw away all your "secular" music, only to go out and buy it all over again a year or so later. You avoided any movie that wasn't produced by Billy Graham, only to spend a lot of money at the video store catching up on all the movies your friends were talking about. You disconnected your cable TV so you wouldn't see any "bad" shows, only to hook it back up to catch the re-runs of "Lost" and "The Office". You sold your Playstation a year ago, but you just bought an XBox so you can play Rock Band or Halo. You still like some Christian music, but more often your radio is tuned to the 80s station or the country channel. You will talk about your Christianity but maybe you're embarrassed to talk about your church. You're at that place where some might say you are "compromising" or have become "secularized".

But I don't think that's what it is. Maybe others are drifting away, but that's not what I'm talking about. You haven't chosen to not be a Christian, you're just comfortable in your faith. At least that's where I am. I think this is what the Bible means when it says "in the world not of it". Jesus didn't avoid the sinful people around them, he went to them. He didn't avoid the entertainment of the time, he embraced it. (Oral story telling was the TV of His time.) He stood up to those who were saying "can't do this can't do that, have to do this, have to do that".

I think this is a good place to be. I'm not saying I'm "done" that I've "got this figured out" or anything like that. All I'm saying is that my Spiritual life is not compartmentalized from my "regular" life. I'm at a point where it's all woven together, that there aren't things I have to "turn off" or "turn on" when I am around other Christians or likewise when I'm around non-Christians. It's OK to listen to The Beatles one minute and Keith Green the next. It's OK to watch The Office after getting home from Bible study. That's not compromising, that's living in the world, being able to talk to people without sounding like an idiot, shining the light without blinding people.

So if you are where I am, welcome. But don't get too comfortable, because God has a way of surprising us when we're not expecting it.