Awareness: What is Being Done to Us

I am currently in the middle of making a huge and disturbing life change.

I am shopping for a minivan. Sad, I know, but the two vehicles we have now just aren’t cutting it. As we have been on the hunt, I have begun to notice vans all around me. I cannot leave the house without seeing 15 or 20 and (again, sadly) being overcome with jealousy.

I am sure you have all experienced this phenomenon before. Something we had never noticed before becomes something we care about. Then it seems as if it is all around us. We begin to think that because we got excited about it, the whole world did as well.

But all these minivans were out there before. The number of minivans in Wichita did not change. What changed was my awareness.

This reminded me of something I heard Ian Morgan Cron (read his book – now) say recently:

Christianity is not something you do, it is something that is done to you.

It has taken days for me to process the gravity of this one sentence. I think it is one of the truest statements about Christianity. I also think it is one we largely ignore. I hope you’ll spend some time thinking about the implications here.

So if this statement is true, then our job is Christians is not to do something FOR Jesus. It is receiving something FROM Him. Discipleship is then opening ourselves up to what he is doing.

Jesus is moving and working and present and active. Our job is simply to become aware of it. The activity of Jesus does not change. What changes is our awareness. This is why we believe margins are so important. Margins helps us become aware. We are learning to see.

Oddly enough, technology functions the same way. Technology shapes us – good, bad or indifferent. When we use technology, we are learning to function in certain ways. Most of the time this is harmless. But in almost all cases, we remain unaware. We are not paying attention to what technology is doing to us.

Opening ourselves up to Jesus, means opening ourselves up to what is real in life. Which means we need to be aware of how we are being shaped. Since technology is something that shapes us all daily, we need to spend a little more time becoming aware of how it is doing so.

In both cases of learning to be aware, I think there are forces at work that want to keep us from that awareness. The less aware we are of the effect technology has, the more it shapes us unchecked. The less aware we are of Jesus, the easier it is to think we are following him when we may not actually be doing so.

Awareness is hard work. But I think it is the most important work that can be done.

What would change if we believed Cron’s statement?

How do you increase your awareness?

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