My friendships cross denominational lines. I’ve had coffee with Baptists, Presbyterians, folks from the Assembly of God, and learned something from all of them. I’ve also learned a few things from Liberals (I learned they think I’m a Fundamentalist), and from Fundamentalists (who think I’m a Liberal). The differences are present, but the stories are good.
I recall a Pentecostal friend of mine making this observation about our two churches, “The difference between us is that I get the holy rollers and you get the back row snoozers.” Good point.
I admit I’m not prone to mysticism (come to think of it, my friend isn’t either). And because I’m not, some Christians question my spiritual maturity. And while my spiritual maturity certainly deserves to be questioned, I’m not sure it should be along the lines of hearing voices and seeing visions.
In a letter dated May 4, 1962, C. S. Lewis gives guidance on living in the moment. The present moment. He doesn’t see it as difficult or as esoteric as some. He writes,
“We must try to take life moment by moment. The actual present is usually pretty tolerable, I think, if only we refrain from adding to its burden that of the past and the future. How right Our Lord is about ‘sufficient to the day.’ Do even pious people in their reverence for the more radiantly divine element in His sayings, sometimes attend too little to their sheer practical common-sense?”1
Jesus and his disciples did some pretty remarkable things. On occasion, I wish I could do the same. But to tell you the truth, I’m having a difficult time just trying to follow 1 Peter 2:21–23, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”
A good challenge for the mystic in all of us.
“And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.” – Titus 3:14.
- Walter Hooper, ed., The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963, Vol. III (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2007), 1335. Italics in original.