Back To Basics

Back to basics. It trips off our tongues when life gets crazy.  A little mantra we like to repeat.  But what does it really mean?  It’s a stripping down of sorts to the core of something. The definition of “basic” online came up: “the essential facts or principles of a subject or skill.”

Recently we got our first pet. We’d been talking about a pet for a while. My youngest son loves anything furry. A cat was out as I’m severely allergic. A dog was our first choice but was just not feasible right now.

We decided on a four month old dwarf rabbit. Over the last week, we’ve learned the basics in rabbit care. We don’t really care about all the extra information out there on dwarf rabbits, we just need basic instruction right now until we all feel more comfortable with each other. We want to give the best care possible to this little furry long eared creature.

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The basics have been food, shelter, water and lots of love. My son and husband have had no trouble loving this little fur-ball. I’m coming around. He is awfully cute. His cage is adequate for now but there may be home improvements in the future. The food has been a little bit of learning curve with some trial and error. For now, these are the basics.

Sometimes we have to get back to basics in our lives too. As the overwhelming September schedule hits us full force, we have to remember the basics and sometimes let the other stuff go. For others, we need to get back to basics in our parenting. Love, love and love some more that child that is driving you to the breaking point. Or our work. Or our homes. The clutter, the mess has to go.

I’ve discovered that there are times we have to go back to basics in our faith as well. We find ourselves in a season that has left us with a lot of questions, some doubts and not a whole lot of answers. Sometimes we don’t even have the energy to search for those answers. It’s too overwhelming. There are so many books out there. So many opinions. So many lies.  At this point, we may need to strip down our faith to the essential facts only. This advice has wisely been given to me a couple of times by people I trust. What does it mean to get back to basics in our faith?

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For me, it’s a point where I’ve had to look carefully at all the things I’ve learned my entire life about God and Jesus and take them apart. There’s a lot of stuff out there posing as Christian theology that just isn’t truth. You already know this, don’t you? I’m sure more than a few of you have hit this wall. Who really is Jesus? Who is this Creator of the Universe? Because suddenly there are some holes in what you believed. The foundation is a little shaky.

We get so secure and comfortable in our platitudes and our rules for Christian living. God and Jesus are smugly contained in a box. A very small box. They stay there because that’s where we want them. It’s free will remember.

This containment field is what is the death of faith I think. God doesn’t do because we decide He’s not really gonna be for us. We can do the job so much better. No wonder we start to doubt, to feel disillusioned and disappointed. We’ve switched out God for ourselves or some other person or thing that we’ve put our trust in. People will let you down. We translate that disappointment to God. We’ve believed the lie that God really isn’t going to come through for us. That He’s not really engaged in our lives. He doesn’t care.

We fall prey to these lies so easily because we don’t really know Him. We consumed what’s been preached from the pulpit or from our parents or peers in one bite and didn’t test it for ourselves. We believed it as truth. It may not have been. Unless it comes straight out of the bible, it’s suspect and in need of testing.  If we don’t do it, it’s a recipe for crisis in our faith. After so many years, of chasing, of doing or of striving, we find we are at a point where we are disappointed, angry or ready to quit.

Maybe this is the most honest we’ve been with ourselves in a long time. We are back to basics because everything else has turned out to be…what? You fill in the blank.

We come to the point where the desire to truly know the wildness of God is no longer as scary as it once was. The desire to know all aspects of Him is getting to be a desperation. The love and gentleness are as important as His justice and Holiness and Majesty. We need to know He loves us enough to fight for us and is more than capable of rendering our enemies useless.

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Finally to sit at his throne, ourselves stripped down to basics, raw, before Him is such a relief. No more faking. No more doing, chasing or trying to earn our way before Him. Back to basics. I think this is where the real relationship begins.

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