Several years ago I was with our medical team in Thailand. On our way back from the field we stopped in Bangkok for some rest and renewal. Many of us took a tour of the many monasteries in the area. One has always stuck with me. The elaborate temple housed a reclining Buddha. Huge (couldn’t get the whole figure in my camera’s viewfinder) covered in gold he looked so comfortable lying there.
D.T. Suzuki wrote a book titled, “Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist” in which he refers to the horizontal Buddha. According to this author horizontality gives the feeling of a noncompetitive approach to the world that you must embrace each moment “as it is” rather than trying to grasp and control. If we want peace in life we must learn to accept rather than going after life we must just let life come as it will.
I’ve thought about that a lot since seeing and reading about horizontal religion. In fact, I remember a time when Jesus himself was reclining, in a boat sound asleep. Then a horrible storm comes about (a good picture of the world) and the disciples freak out demanding to know how he can rest, how he can stay horizontal when they might sink when the possibility existed they were going to perish (Mark 4:35-41).
But what happens next is I believe a good picture of the difference between Christianity and a horizontal concept of life. Jesus stands up, demands the storm to calm down and yet during the process remains calm and at peace. How? He knows who is in control! Our Savior teaches a very simple fact. We can be peaceful, we can confront the storms of life because we have a risen (vertical) Savior in our life. I guess what I’m saying is Christianity is not about lying down!
Get up, you can face today because God is with you. Bring peace, comfort and the loving grace of Christ with you today as you walk the path.