Monday, September 06, 2004

Religious Ramblings - seeing what sticks

Strange title, perhaps. I feel like I'm cooking spaghetti and to see if its done, I'm throwing pieces of it at the wall to see if it sticks...or perhaps this simply describes the chaos in my mind as I try to make sense of my faith.
To read more, click the Xs...

Last year was a pretty busy year for me, religiously speaking, and I've been trying to sort it out for a while. The theme running through my head, to which I constantly returned, was that I was spiritually off the rails. Something was wrong, but I couldn't define it and didn't know how to fix it. Some things were certain, I love God, I love the Bible and I want, through my life, to glorify God and serve others. Sounds simple enough, right? Only the problem begins when you think you are doing things that will glorify God, only you get them terribly wrong, realize that you have not glorified God and that you have, in fact, alienated others from yourself, or worse, from God -- perhaps thats too melodramatic, suffice it to say, that I became concerned that I was not encouraging others but that I was a stumbling block instead (this concern of mine is only beginning to work itself out).

Back to last year -- I was taking a non-denominational Bible Study one night a week; serving as the teacher coordinator for my church's Vacation Bible School (we started planning last Fall); taking a course at my church called Disciples of Christ in Community (DOCC); co-facilitating a Sunday Bible study at my church; all in addition to my regular commitments as a lay reader and Altar Guild member. As you can see, my eggs are pretty much all in one basket -- religion and church. Yes, I was also succumbing to the cult of busyness -- the "I'm doing so many things, I must be so important" sort of thinking. Perhaps it was clear that I was headed for some trouble. Let me first say, the trouble I found is all trouble within myself -- the spiritually off the rails thing -- there was no mayhem, no felonies, not even something scandalous like a sin of the flesh. Perhaps, though, these troubles contributed to my lack of patience with my children -- I definitely tend to yell at them when I'm unhappy with myself, whereas I can roll with the punches when I'm centered.

Why am I saying all this, did I have a point? I guess my point is the collision that inevitably occurred in my thinking between the liberal and the conservative, pride and humility. I made a mess of my involvement with DOCC and I guess I'm trying to learn from it. I found it a bit formless, I wanted more references to the Bible. I found myself feeling superior to those in my group who seemed unfamiliar with what the Bible says. I knew this feeling of pride on my part was a sin -- was not the way God would want me to feel and act. That made me feel guilty because I wanted so much to be someone who might inspire others to read the Bible -- I was hoping my enthusiasm would be infectious, not off-putting.

I've lost my train of thought on this...I'll come back to it if I get 'back on the rails...' In the meantime, I'll see what sticks.

No comments: