HoopsToday’s Word: ‘Hoops’ as in… our Spirit(ed)/(ual) life is not about jumping through hoops.

I simply can’t write that with enough emphasis. I’d write it again, but I’d bust my 350 word limit here in my Today’s Word.

Recently, in a fascinating conversation, a lovely and ‘spirited’ young couple had questions about moving from one spiritual tradition to another; specifically about moving toward the Christian tradition. The word that was used was “convert” as in, “I want to convert” [to Christianity].

I thought to myself, “So do I!”

After all, isn’t the movement toward the heart of faith the daily conversion of our own hearts? Somewhere behind their very thoughtful questions was the idea that following The Way of Jesus somehow meant hurdling hoops, meeting metrics and entertaining expectations. Simply put, it’s easy to equate the Spirit(ed)/(ual) life with a long list of “dos and don’ts.”

But it was never intended to be that way!

Breathing the oxygen of the Spirit is simply and only a gift. And we don’t earn gifts.

When this couple asked what they needed to do to become Christian, I had this thought: What if I’d asked what I needed to do to become the love of Nancy Lee’s life. What would I have had to do to be loved by her, to be the object of her affections, to be called and known as Nancy Lee’s husband? What on earth would I have to do to earn any of that?

Not one thing.

So I told this sweet young couple that there really wasn’t anything they had to do. That felt counter intuitive. I admit. But if they really wanted to do anything, they could look for a community of faith near their neighborhood and simply enter into the full life of those people; to be in that community of faith and learn right along with everyone else what it means to love God and love others without reserve.

Seems to me that the Spirit(ed)/(ual) life is really only about loving God and loving others. I simply can’t write that with enough emphasis.


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