God is not a boundary around the edges of our lives, a limit to our abilities that we are always striving to surpass. Nor, we might add, is he the keeper of a boundary imposed by legalists who think we can be changed through an ever more encompassing set of rules. He belongs in the center. Were God merely an outer boundary, we would be left with an inner boundlessness, an emptiness at the heart of things—left, that is, without any true organizing center for our lives. It is only when our relationship of glad obedience to God governs everything that we will be truly free. Then we will find no need for a boundary at all. The more we find ourselves needing to shore up boundaries, or feeling driven to escape them, the surer we may be that something is wrong at the center.
The whole article is worth a read: The Mystery of Original Sin | Christianity Today.
I’m glad I came across this article. Lately I’ve found myself scrabbling for ‘balance’. This is something I revert to whenever my faith is in crisis; when I realise I’m wandering but am in denial about it. I try to find a ‘balance’ between my faith life and my life life, often unconsciously (but often consciously, too). I try to set ‘boundaries’ for my faith: finish the Christian to-do list (Scripture, devotion time, prayer), so I can have the rest of the day “off God”. As if that’s possible, or real faith.
And then the Holy Spirit chipped in and told me (outside a municipal office, of all places), ‘It’s not about balance, it’s about infusion.’ We compartmentalize faith: it’s just one box of many (‘marriage’, ‘kids’, ‘school’, ‘work’, ‘friends’). But in reality, of course, it’s not a box, it’s the storage space. Everything else should fit into it.
This reminds me of something I read in Mere Christianity:
The real job of every moral teacher is to keep on bringing us back, time after time, to the old simple principles which we are all so anxious not to see…
What simple, profound principle has the Holy Spirit been leading you back to?