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Spiritual Living

Living An Inspired Life
By Leonard Sweet

The art of making a moment into something holy is the art of magnetizing moments with the Spirit. To make a moment is not to manufacture a moment or concoct a split-second spirituality. It is rather to identify a moment in such a way that it can be become a conscious moment, as an enjoyed moment and an enduring moment that redounds to the glory of God. When a moment is magnetized by the Spirit, it becomes whole, holy and eternal.

Two primary de-magnetizers inhibit the magnetic forces of the Spirit:

  • The first is a greed for large-scale epiphanies.

  • The second is a preference for living other people's moments rather than our own.

The kingdom of God is not some marbleized Jerusalem we build "our there" somewhere. The kingdom of God is among us, around us and within us. Look at the world of a flower. Look at a loaf of bread. Life's magic, miracle, passion and promise are gifts that fall right in our laps and find their way right into our hands. Our problem is that we are less open to the unexpectedness of the everyday in our quest for the extraordinary and extreme. In fact, it's the pleasures of the moments that provide consolation against the drone and droop of the hours and the days.

Life's treasures are buried right under our noses. Can we relish the wonders of small-scale epiphanies and everyday events? The discovery in Newark Airport's Terminal B of a daily delivery of fresh flowers to a men's room? The discovery that plants can count? Each leaf of the Venus-flytrap has three hairs. If an insect touches two of them - any two of them - the leafy trap snaps shut. If an insect touches just one - any one - nothing happens.

There are so many discoveries to be made of this ever-changing world. Life isn't somewhere else. Life is here - all around you and inside you, a succession of astonishments. True artists write hymns to ordinariness. True artists find meaning in the small wonders of life. The art of godly living is making every event a real do, making every moment count, even turning "senior moments" into "God moments."

The second obstacle to magnetized moments is our preference for copies over the original. David didn't allow Goliath to define who he was. One of the hardest challenges in life is not to allow the Goliaths - boss, spouse, church - to define us. The modern church arguably has been more in the business of forcing individuals to become as standard as those mirrored molecules found in nature than has any other sector of society. How many have "succeeded" in the church while at the same time refused the bridle imposed as its price for success? The history of the Christian church boasts a rich and idiosyncratic cast of characters- quite a contrast to many of the fitted waxwork leaders of today. Christianity in the West was built by adventurers; it is being lost by back-covering, back-scratching look-alikes.

Like a nail hammered back into a board, our kinks and quirks are pummeled out of us as soon as they stick out. We come to fear the honest living of our own moments. We come to live vicariously, inhabiting the hyped moments of stars or the hyper expectations of others. We pay public figures big bucks to live our private lives for us. Our investments in celebrities entitle us to pinch, tickle, and torment them, even to see them in their grief and briefs.

God has called each one of us to move "beyond category," to borrow Duke Ellington's highest term of praise. When your soul is "beyond category," you are living an "inspired life." You are living in a state of "in-spiration" - having the Spirit breathed into you - and your soul is in tune with the music of a God who is composing the score of the universe. For too many Christians, the music has stopped.

Excerpted from "Soul Salsa," By Leonard Sweet.