The movie ‘Eat Pray Love’ is showing in our town theater. I read the book a couple of years ago and the main thing I got out of it was the incredulous fact that someone could actually be paid to travel for a year and then write a book about it. How do I get one of those jobs??
This past summer I’ve been reading and slowly working through a book in the scriptures – the first letter written by Peter who was one of Jesus’ disciples. Just before I headed out on a road trip, a friend gave me a tape series on this book. I listened to a verse by verse teaching of 1 Peter while I meandered through the winding mountains passes and as I sped along the straight ribbon of highways slicing through miles of vast grain fields.
Did you read that last sentence? Now. Where can I get that job that pays me to travel and write?
Back to 1 Peter. In the fourth chapter Peter gives us his own version to the secret to living life. Pray, Love, Party.
Pray – keep clear minded so that you can pray. The original text literally tells us to be sober-minded. That is the opposite of being drunk. The state of drunkenness is a place of being disconnected from reality, being anaesthetized so that the pain of life can’t be felt. Peter admonished us to live in reality; to be completely present so we can pray. By praying we allow God to be part of the hurts in our lives and we look to him for complete sustenance in each day.
Love – love each other deeply. This is the “agape” type of love. The deepest type of love that is used to describe how God loves. It encompasses a moral and social sense of love. The only way that we can love others like this is to be filled up with God’s love first; we must be connected to the source of love. This type of love allows us to offer forgiveness and overlook other peoples’ faults.
Party – have people over. The original word for ‘hospitality’ is founded in the Greek word “philos” which is the word for friendship. We were never meant to walk through the journey of life alone.
After these three commands, Peter acknowledges that we all live life differently because we are individuals that are created uniquely. Where we spend our focus and time will be different simply because of the way we were created and what God has enabled us to do. But we all need to pray, love and party.
The main difference between Elizabeth Gilbert’s book and the letter written by Peter is the focus of life. The impetus for Elizabeth’s eating, praying and loving was to answer the question; “am I happy? how can I be happier?” Peter’s admonition to pray, love, party is for a completely different focus; to connect us to God and experience him in each part of our lives. He wraps it up by saying: “so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11)
I probably won’t ever get a book contract to travel and write but I am delighted that you have chosen to read my blog. I hope that as you start organizing your fall schedule you’ll put on the top of your priority list to pray, love and party. Even more importantly – I hope that you will connect with the God who hears our prays, enables us to love and provides us with friendships along the way.