Here’s a thought: being a christian is more like bicycling than skydiving.
The christian life is a life and it is one life. All of life is meant to be lived in light of God, not just certain percentages. God and spiritual matters cannot be placed in a box labeled “the supernatural life” while family, Facebook, friends, term papers, and the part time job at the supermarket go into the “normal life” box. The power for growth comes from living life; from being.
In the original Greek of the Bible we come across the word ‘pneuma’ which is usually translated as ‘spirit’ in English. This same word also means ‘breath’. Life itself is a pure gift from God. To borrow the words from Paul, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” This nanosecond, right now as you are reading this, your own respiratory system is being upheld by God. Therefore the act of breathing is a religious experience where you inhale and exhale God’s life giving presence and grace. Breath in. Breath out. Feel your pulse. That is how life with God is. An absolutely creative and pure gift. And something which we so often take for granted.
Sometimes when christians talk about God, I get the impression that God comes like lightning: straight down from heaven to earth. Therefore life as a christian is living as some kind of a lightning rod. It’s like God is distant and a total stranger to our world and everyday lives. Because God is ‘supernatural’ and ‘spiritual’ and completely different than anything in our experienced reality, we either stick out our spiritual antennae to get God to come here or try to be as spiritual as possible in order to ascend to him. In some expressions of christianity worship becomes the facilitator for meeting with God, bringing Him down to us. There is nothing wrong with worship. It is a natural response of thankfulness for life and being loved by the one we call God. Still, other expressions of christianity than the one above have a different view on being with God in worship. For them, you are already with God and on God’s side. Neither of these views of worship is wrong per say or has a bad goal. However, no theory or activity has a monopoly on God. God is free and cannot be manipulated.
I would like to suggest that we quit separating things into ‘natural’ and ‘supernatural’ boxes. Not just for awhile, but for once and for all. We need to do this until we know that all of our life is lived in light of God and none of the beautiful, painfully mundane trails we face are distant or uninteresting to Him.
For us christians it is almost impossible to not talk about or utter the word ‘God’ without referring to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. So if I were to ask you the question about where the supernatural lies in the autobiography of Jesus, what would you answer? The multiplication of bread and fish or his temptation in the wilderness? When he raised Lazarus from the dead or Golgotha? Is it either or?
Therefore being a christian is more like riding a bike than skydiving. Riding a bike is like breathing while skydiving is like having the air sucked out of you. God desires for us to be around for the long haul. That is why holy habits and continuity are crucial for the life of faith. I don’t ask myself every morning if I am going to breath today or eat or whether or not I am going to pray. Prayer is the life breath of faith. The people who are walking far ahead on the road recommend not overworking ourselves. Overworking leads to burn out. Just take five minutes a day and for the rest of your life. Then you will be able to taste and see that your entire life is a feather floating on the breath of God.
Written by Andreas Døvik. Translated by Emily Huyck