A Three Dimensional Life
January 22, 2018
I grew up with Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt, and Pac Man. Nintendo video games captured my childhood and youth. It was opportunity to be the hero and rescue the princess. I was living the boyhood dream and having hours of fun!
The first video games were two-dimensional: you could move your character to jump up or move left and right. Up, down, left, and right were the basic options. Video games were limited to these two dimensions. Technology continued to develop, and video games became three dimensional. A whole new world and experience opened-up. Suddenly, you could move forward, backward, up, down, left, and right. You could move in any direction! It was like stepping into a new universe, a new reality and experience.
Like the early video games, much of my Christian faith and life was two dimensional. It was very flat. I had some movement but not a lot. I could go in one direction, but not very far. My experience of the faith was limited. Even worse, I did not even know that it was restricted. I did not know any other way.
Upgraded to 3D
Since coming on staff as Associate Pastor, I have discovered something new in my faith journey. Jesus has invited me into beautiful three-dimensional relationships. Relationships marked by God the Father, marked by a community of disciples who share life, and marked by the world around me. The three angles are clear and embodied in the life of Jesus. We see from scripture that Jesus connects with the Heavenly Father in one moment, calls disciples to train and share life with him in the next moment, and then proceeds to share good news and heal the sick (Luke 6:12-19).
Jesus lived an integrated life and did not compartmentalize his relationships. His relationships didn’t fall into categories of “sacred” and “secular.” The three relationships of Jesus could be defined as: UP, IN, OUT. UPward with the Heavenly Father (God), INward with a community (family) of disciples, and OUTward with the world (neighborhood) around him.
I believe Jesus’ three-dimensional life is a relationship template for us to step into. God has invited and challenged me to step UP, IN, and OUT. Are we connecting and building intimacy with our Heavenly Father? Are we sharing life with a community (family) of disciples? Are we loving our neighbors?
These are hard questions. Many people today only live in one or two dimensions. I am equally guilty! For many years, my faith practice was a two-dimensional: UP and IN.
God had to show me His better way. He had to re-wire my heart, my schedule, and my priorities. Over time, I am learning what it means to live in three dimensional relationships and an integrated life: connecting with my Heavenly Father, a family of disciples, and my neighbors. I am learning how to be a friend to others. I am learning to embrace diversity. To be honest, I am not there yet. But – now I know the goal: UP-IN-OUT.
How about you?
How many dimensions are you living in?
What relationship angle is strong?
What relationship angle does God want to grow in your life?
Be encouraged. God leads his followers to abundant life and human flourishing. The Kingdom of Heaven comes, here and now even on this earth. Turn to Jesus. Take the long road of obedience. He will lead you to thrive as you step into His three-dimensional relationship design: UP, IN, OUT.
Missed the last article? Check it out here.
Questions? Comments? Objections? Concerns? I’d love to hear your thoughts.