Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'd rather dance

My view of God has exploded over the last few years. It's been a gradual progression but I do remember waking up one morning to the realization that God no longer fit into my field of vision. He does not stay put. The ink I use to write about Him will inevitably bleed out and transform into something grander. He is more loving than I could have imagined. And best of all, His dreams for us are bolder and more radical than I ever thought they might be. They will not be chained or shackled by our own small interpretations of Scripture, of God's Story. His dreams are screaming to be realized in our lives if we will let them.

My spiritual growth has not come without a price, not without many deaths of ideas and notions that I held too dear. God has graciously loosened my grip on some of the thinking that held me in chains. I had to put to death the idea that somehow, someday I would have all the answers about God.. I've had to put to death the foul idea that nothing can be known about Him outside of the Bible. I've allowed myself to dare to dream that God might actually be more  loving than I imagine. Each of these things has loosened my chains little by little, but lately I've found myself entangled in a new chain. I have had to fight cynicism on a daily basis so God can remain huge in my feeble view of Him. It's hard for me to look at my old way of life without feeling cynical and judgmental. Even though the process of getting me where I am took years, for some reason I expect everyone to be on the same page as me right now. How is it possible for me to experience a revitalization of my own life (even in spite of my stubborn heart) and look at the same God who did the work and not trust that He is capable of doing the same for someone else?

So I've been obsessively listening to the new Gungor album, Ghosts Upon the Earth. No joke- just over and over and over again. You know when an album comes along at just the right time, with all the right words?
Anyways, I was reading the band's thoughts about what went into each song and a few things stood out to me regarding my battle with cynicism. Lisa Gungor explains a scenario similar to mine:
"It felt as though we were meager little ants who were discovering that the traditional way of digging into the earth is bogus.  But in spite of the discovery, we were still forced to succumb to the great ant tradition – clawing and scraping, shoving dirt into our mouth and spitting it out again."
I realized the way I was doing life, the way I was worshipping God, the way I was "loving" people was all wrong. And yet each morning I woke up with a fresh day, a new batch of questions and the realization that I am still a part of this forward motion. I'm still a cog in the clockwork. I must join the great cloud of Saints who continued to strive to live a better Way. Michael Gungor continues by talking about his own cynicism:
"Instead of allowing all of your unanswered questions to fully consume your joy, just enjoy the dance.  To me, that’s largely what faith has become. Yes, I have my doubts and questions and everything else, but at the end of the day, it’s not what questions I have in my mind but whether I’m going to join the dance or sit on the outside and sneer.  I’d rather dance. "
What are you cynical about today; what are you jaded about? Is it politics? The church? Your job? Life in general?  Whatever it is, don't allow it to chain you anymore. Keep walking. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Join the dance, even if it makes you a fool.  Allow your jaded heart to be healed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

remember that time when I actually blogged? that was awesome

So it's been a while since I've posted on here. A few major and minor things and a whole lot of laziness lead to my reprieve from the blogging world. I started finding it hard to come up with an edge to any of the ideas I had for posts. I also started kind of this boy- so you know, there's that. Actually, there's just been a lot of  transition in my life that, I admit, would have probably made for some good blogging. But ultimately, I needed the chance to just transition without scheming how I could turn it into a hilarious little anecdote that would boost my readership. So even though it will probably be boring to most, I will give a brief recap of the past few months as a way to say, "I'm baaaaaaack!" before we get back to regular blogging. Who doesn't love a good recap?

1. So there's this boy...he's pretty cute and nice and after years of being branded "SINGLE" on Facebook, I have made the switch to "In a relationship". As Boyfriend has heard many times since we started dating, "I don't know what the hell I'm doing." I don't know how to date. I don't know the right things to say in every situation. I don't know how to include someone else in the personal world that I've done JUST fine running on my own up until now. I don't know how to walk in high heeled shoes without looking like a man would if he had to wear high heeled shoes. But despite all these things I'm having fun, and I am learning. Boyfriend and I are a lot the same on things and a lot different on other things, but he's being pretty gracious and patient as I figure everything out...not to mention how many serious talks I've made him sit through. Expect a post soon about how the checklist that was mandatory in almost every church youth group I ever attended has made dating harder than necessary. You know, the one where you make a list of all the things you want in a husband? Yea that one.

2. My job is ending. I've been a nanny for five years, almost three of which were with my current family. And now the mother is quitting her job to stay at home and I'm moving on. I've been gearing up to move on from nannying for a while, but now the trigger is actually being pulled and I still don't know what the next step is. I want to do something I'm passionate about, but that pesky little fact that I never went to college is rearing it's ugly head.

3. I've started work on my own to promote child sponsorships for a Thai-run children's shelter in Chiang Mai that houses kids pulled from the sex trade. This is something I've been wanting to get involved in for a while but have only just started following through on. Coincidentally, this is something I would really love to do as a career. Expect a post soon detailing what is currently happening in the global sex trade and how it has so profoundly broken my heart.

4. God has still been relatively silent. But I have had some sweet times of communion with my brothers and sisters in Christ that have done much to re-energize me and stoke the little ember of faith in my heart. My community has been my lifeline as I've walked through the desert of doubt- truly a representation of Christ in the flesh to me.  And Jesus is still just as beautiful.