How do people know that I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength? Does my life help make the God I love and serve become more famous? How do people around me (even strangers) know that I have completely sold out, gone all in, and am following after God with a reckless abandonment?
I have been asking myself these type of questions ever since my recent trip to New York City. During this trip, I got the chance to go into a Buddhist temple and into a Muslim mosque. What I saw there floored me.
While I obviously do not see eye-to-eye in matters of faith, I greatly respect their devotion to their religion and I think Christians can learn from their day-to-day devotion and commitment.
As we were touring the Buddhist temple, I noticed one woman by herself. It was obvious that she was active in the Buddhist faith. There was no service planned. There was no organized group of people. On this normal Friday afternoon in July, this woman was bowing down in worship to her god. Many times we found her face-down in worship. Friends and family were no where to be seen and she was completely alone.
Earlier that same day, we had a chance to see a Muslim mosque. While this experience was memorable, I will remember an encounter we had later that afternoon.
We made our way to Battery Park. This is a beautiful park in south Manhattan that is full of art, September 11 memorials, a great view of the Statue of Liberty, and a fort from the War of 1812. As we were there, we noticed a lot of people around us spontaneously bowing down. It turns out that the people bowing were of the Muslim faith and that it was time for their daily afternoon prayer. So in the middle of a busy New York City park on a normal Friday afternoon in July, these people were face-down before their god.
I was blown away.
I started to ask myself if I would be so sold out, so committed, so public with my faith.
Sure Christians have the cross necklaces, the WWJD bracelets, the trendy Christian t-shirts, the Christian fish bumper stickers, and a couple of television channels nobody watches. But that stuff is easy. You can pull off some of those things with a very low commitment to your faith. It is very easy to speak Christianese and play the part a few hours a week around the right people at the right time – that’s called playing church. It is a far different ball game to live sold out on a daily basis where anybody around you cannot help but notice how much you love God – that’s way more than t-shirts and bumper stickers.
My question to you is this…
How do people know that you are sold out and completely in love with God on a normal Friday afternoon in July?