I’d like you to think about becoming a professional Christian.
Do those two words even belong together? What does that look like? A televangelist? A faith healer? A church shopper? A person who takes faith and turns it into something legalistic and dead?
It seems like a far cry away from the idea of loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving others as yourself.
A far cry from the Good Samaritan; from the Father running after his long lost son; from the powerful images pulled from the BIble. Rather it seems dry, dead, almost crass.
I’ll actually allow that it’s really easy to think about it like that; in fact, that’s very much the way I used to think about it.
A year or so ago, a little book was recommended to me, and it has revolutionized my way of thinking about a lot of things.
In The War of Art, writer Stephen Pressfield sets forth powerful insights into the nature of creativity, but as I read the book a thought started to form in my head…
What if these same creative principles apply to living the “Spiritual Life”?
What if our primary call is to create our own Gospel-shaped life?
Pressfield says that the key to the creative life is to “become a professional.” Here’s how he describes it:
The amateur plays for fun. The professional plays for keeps.
To the amateur, the game is his avocation. To the pro it’s his vocation.
The amateur plays part-time, the professional full-time.
The amateur is a weekend warrior. The professional is all there seven days a week.
The word amateur comes from the Latin root meaning “to love.” The conventional interpretation is that the amateur pursues his calling out of love, while th epro does it for the money. Not the way I see it. In my view, the amateur does not love the game enough. If he did, he would not pursue it as a sideline, distinct from his “real vocation.
The professional loves it so much he dedicates his life to it. He commits full-time.
So many people are hungry for something different.
So many people ask themselves, “Can my life really be different? Can it look at all like some of these stories I read in the Bible or church history?”
So many people even want it to be different.
But they aren’t willing to “turn pro” as Pressfield defines it.
They may be willing to give their life to God, but they’re not willing to give their life to the process of God’s work in their lives. They’re not willing to give their life to it, to show up every day in order to create their “work of art”—their Gospel-life.
You can hunger all you want, but most of the time it—life change, or spiritual growth—is simply not going to magically happen. We have to commit to going beyond being “amateur Christians” and actually choose to do the work—not in the sense of earning our salvation, but in the sense of arranging our lives for spiritual growth.
Letting God do the work, but making sure we show up and give His Spirit the space to do so.
What would it look like if you decided to “turn pro”?
What would have to change?
What would you gain?
What would you lose?
more thoughts to come….
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