In the last post I wrote about the story Finding Adventure, and I have been thinking about how do we avoid any sense dualism between the Spiritual and practical side of the work with young people in growing church. This has been a key part of the project and we have been quite good at equally valuing the both sides. BUT this is exactly problem as we have to talk about both sides – It is really hard because our language inhibits us and we slip between the two or alternate rather than blending holistically. Due to the structure of language and our western conditioning as soon as we use a word like prayer or spiritual we are drawn to an ephemeral/woolly/other type of image in our minds and away from the rootedness expressed in the new testament and particularly (Hatip to Mark P) Romans 12 v1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Even here it feels ephemeral/Wooly/Other but it is actually incredibly rooted in the waking, eating, walking and talking of everyday. So anyway I needed to do some more work on the story following (thanks for the feedback) and have tried to be less dualist in this version… what do you think?
Charlie was a BMXer who loved riding, and even when she had started out on a scooter loved the adventure of riding close to the edge and pushing new tricks. She was quickly developing a reputation as an excellent rider, so in order to make the most of her growing profile she decided to set up a shop locally and online brand of clothes and equipment. Her technical skills grew and meant she could design new pedals and peripheral equipment that really enhanced riding and made the whole experience better. She even invested in new technology such as new alloys, that could be used in frames and was soon making frames that were lighter and stronger than anything else on the market. She made sure that everyone working for her got a fair wage and only used ethical suppliers were possible. Charlie was quickly raking it in and the money didn’t corrupt her, she gave a portion to those who needed it and kept up always tried her best to be honest in business.
The thing she loved about having money was still rooted in adventure, only now she could travel to loads of places around the country and abroad. She flew around the world and rode in well know places, that were distant dreams to many. On returning from her travels she paid attention to business and things continued to grow, but she was never quite satisfied and always longed for something else.
At about the same time a man was traveling the around the area, who also had a growing reputation. People weren’t quite sure what to call him, he wasn’t a skater or biker, some people called him the Well digger, as once helped people find some water and dig a well, some people called him the Builder for similar reasons, others called him Sufi – someone who was spiritually enlightened, and at peace with themselves, to others he was the Teller, the problem was he never fitted into any one box. People who had heard his stories or spent time with him, never could sum him up in one word or label him this or that. They said he had healed the sick, and helped the poor, built houses and you never knew what what was going to happen next, and although he too was poor was he was rich in a different way. The group that traveled around with him were known as “the adventurers”, as they were set them challenges, and always asked questions that made them think or act in a different way. As a group they never knew where they were going next or what they were going to have to eat the next day, but something always turned up, and anyway what better way to keep the adventure real. Even though Charlie had been on many adventures, and always pushed her riding to the next level, she always felt something was missing. Something needed to change she told herself and so went to find this man that couldn’t be put in a box. Finding him, she was not the type to be shy, so explained how she loved the adventure and how she had tried to live an ethical life, and asked “what must I do to join the adventurers and journey with you?”
The Man replied “go and sell all your possessions, your business, your bikes and inventions and give the money to the poor, then come and join us?” Charlie went away disappointed.