What’s your way of life?
This is not something I’ve consciously thought about… which is a bit scary!
I mean, there really are so many ways to live life- and I’ve just fallen in with everyone around me… without thinking it through.
If our way of life is usually unconscious, the question must be asked- what shapes the way I live?
(Alright. Now I’m giving it some thought).
1. Technology. That’s easy to see- advances in technology change our lives dramatically. Phones change the way we socialise. Screens change our idea of relaxation. Microwaves change our understanding of what waiting means.
2. Family upbringing. A lot of what I do is just a reflection of how my parents did things, eg. why do I buy that brand? Why do I raise my kids this way…?
3. Everyone around me. I naturally fall in with patterns of life of those around me. A new work environment has proved this. It take effort to be different.
4. Media messages. Why do I care about the environment or choose to eat a certain way? Often it comes down to the ‘flavour of the season’ or things I’ve heard experts say.
5. Cultural values. How much I should work, the kinds of jobs to aim for, my mode of transport, the clothes I wear…
6. Natural desires/feelings. Which are then tempered by my beliefs about how I should moderate these.
I like to think I’m free to live how I want, but all these things make me believe that there’s a limited scope of what’s an acceptable way to live.
In fact, I think I’m blind to the many other possibilities.
For example, I don’t even consider that I could go and live a nomadic lifestyle and own nothing but the clothes on my back. But, it’d be possible. And probably have some advantages!
Having considered all of this. Now its time to ask- is there a better way?
All this thinking stemmed from a verse I read today:
“So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life.” Leviticus 18:3
So my challenge is: identify one unhealthy/unhelpful way of doing things/thinking about things that I’ve picked up. And then to consider a way to adjust/replace this for a way of life that I’ve consciously chosen.
Anyone want to join me in this? Let me know how it goes!
Tom Anderson is pioneering www.haventogether.com, an online church plant supported by his in-person church, Catalyst, Ipswich. He has a young, growing family and enjoys playing backyard sport. Tom is a keen long-distance runner, averaging 21km each day last year. He has worked as a teacher for eleven years and enjoys perfecting a flat white on his home espresso machine. Tom would welcome a visit for a coffee some time… or an online catch-up via Zoom. See the Haven Together website to get in touch.