While in a truck stop the other day, a song from the past that I have always detested played over the muzak. I’m not sure I’ve ever understood the song or even really listened to it much. The line that has always bothered me is;
That’s me in the cornerR.E.M. ‘Losing My Religion’ 1991
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
But when I heard it yesterday, I realized that is exactly what God wants me to do, lose MY religion.
re·li·gion – noun \ri-ˈli-jən\: the belief in a god or in a group of gods
: an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods
: an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group
I want to think that following a list of rules brings me closer to God. It’s easy to measure my progress if I have a checklist to check off. I like hard and fast do this, don’t do that. And while lists and rules may be helpful at times to bring a sense of order to the amorphous command of ‘Love God and your neighbor’, it becomes way too easy to stop at the end of the list and think I’ve done my best.
The main thing I’ve learned over my journey the last six months is that it’s not about action, it’s about my heart. I can do all the right things and have a heart as cold as stone. I find it much harder to have a heart that is tuned into God and still want to behave badly. When I am spending time and energy focused on God, I tend to see that the right actions flow naturally from my heart. So, it’s not about my religion and my rules and trying to please God. It’s about being in touch with Him and learning to think and feel in the way He does. It’s about love.
Micah 6:8 (NIV)