nothing is ritual

Awhile back I posted a book review on here for The Shack by William P. Young.  I really liked the book.  I was simultaneously taking a class in systematic theology and it was incredible to see all the theological ideas I had studied dance around on the pages in ways I never would have dreamt.  Whatever you think of the validity of ideas presented, it is a well crafted book that will challenge your view of God, yourself, and really every other person you might meet.  My favorite line is this book is

“nothing is ritual”

This is said by God, or if you wish, the way God chooses to present God’s self to the main character in the story.  And it is directed at the main character who is having dinner with the Trinity.  Yup…that’s right…the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  To get a real grasp of the power of these words, you might need to read the book.  And it might not hit you the ay it did me, but I was moved.  Something deep in me shifted when I read those words.  In a world of “shoulds” and “musts” that are crammed down our throats from infancy, God would not have us be slaves to the “shoulds” and “musts.”  There is no formula for a relationship with God.  There is no secret handshake, special prayer, or required reading.  While the reading and praying will undoubtedly will help us get to know God, that’s not the substance of our relationship to God.  So while I love tradition and appreciate those who encourage me to be disciplined in my efforts to seek God, I was reminded in this book that “this’ does not equal “that.”  Bible study, prayer, church attendance, ministry service, fill-in-the-blank-here, does not equal relationship with God. 

May I always seek to understand the underlying meaning of the traditions in the body of Christ and never forget they are only a very small part of what God wants from me: my heart.

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