“What do you do to relax?” asked the doctor.
“I play golf,” replied Doug.
“Oh, golf can be relaxing. How often do you play?” said the doctor.
“Never!” said Doug, “and what’s bad is that I’m going to have to cut back.” (Multiplicity, 1996, movie starring Michael Keaton and Andy MacDowell.)
Using time wisely has always been a touchy point for us Christians. Should we go to a movie this afternoon and enjoy ourselves while people are suffering in Fargo? Or what about the starving children in Rwanda? Or the imprisoned believers in Tibet? Shouldn’t we just stay home and pray for everyone?
Basilea Schlink, the founder of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, dealt with this issue in one of her many books. She tells how she visited the Louvre in Paris. Walking by the works of Michaelangelo, da Vinci, Rembrandt, Raphael and others, she felt guilty and miserable. How could she possibly enjoy herself while so many people were suffering throughout the world?
Now if you haven’t heard of Basilea Schlink, check her books out. This German lady was a woman of deep prayer, as in six to ten hours a day.
Schlink states that she was finally set free from her misery and guilt when she understood in her heart that she was no longer living under religious Law, but rather, she lived under grace and was led by the Spirit.
Most of us have heard this simple truth over and over. And yet, how many of us really believe it?
Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s a little of this and a little of that, all written to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian jouneys.