Vander's Thoughts

Vander's Thoughts

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


This past week I spent a week in a cabin with my family in Lake Tahoe to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. We had great weather and tons of snow to build some great memories. I know rough life right? But snowboarding, snowmobiling, and snowball fights can really have their effect on a 45 year old body. On the last morning we were there, it snowed about 6 inches, enough to cover everything with the fascinating frozen white crystal. Nothing else can make your life more enjoyable or more miserable depending on what you are doing.

The cabin we were staying in was situated next to a road with a pretty good incline. It was steep enough that cars without all-wheel drive having a difficult time navigating up it. Then, as the snow increased some cars with chains couldn't even make it up, so as one car after another failed to climb the hill, the cars without chains helplessly pulled along onto the side of the road. At one point I think there were about 10 cars stuck just sitting there watching. Finally one guy without chains came driving by and to everyone’s astonishment, drove right up the hill. When everyone saw this, the cars without chains made a go if it and made it up as well. Pretty soon everyone one was removing their chains and heading up the hill and out of sight.

Observing this really flew in the face of reason because chains are supposed to help us, not hinder us. The sad truth is the same can be said of religion. The world has fallen into a belief that religion is good, but unfortunately religion is nothing more than a system of behavior based on rules and regulations that has caused a lot of people to be stuck in life. God isn't into telling us how to live our lives; He is about being part of our lives. The rules and regulations of religion just keep us from experiencing the freedom that comes from God alone because rules make us believe there is a spiritual formula for life, but there isn't  There is no formula for grace, it just doesn't make sense, but it works. I've learned that God’s grace offers me the freedom from the chains of a religious system and empowers me to experience a life of love for others.  People get stuck in religion, but freedom is found in a relationship in Christ.  

I love what the wisdom of Colossians says: So, then, if with Christ you've put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? “Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!” Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important. So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.

Are you sick of being stuck and spinning your wheels in life? It’s time to remove the chains of rules and live a life of freedom to love like Christ calls us all too.  That’s the only way you will ever see His perspective.

Happy New Year!