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.

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