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I have a hard time being real on this blog. I mean, I am real on it, but only about certain topics. Some topics I flirt with, others I ignore completely. Of course, being my own blog, I have the prerogative to pick and choose what I write about.
But I read a blog today by Brian LePort, which I felt dovetails nicely with what I’m thinking about lately. It’s called The complexity of becoming and rebecoming a Christian. I would recommend clicking and reading it. The main gist, as I read it, is that there is not one path to becoming a Christian, and many times, becoming a Christian is not just a one time event, but a series of events. Which reminds me of one of my favourite Donald Miller quotes: “Becoming a Christian might look more like falling in love than baking cookies.” (From Searching for God Knows What.)
I think where I am taking this is not that I question my own faith, but that I question the prescribed life that has been laid out for me by fellow Christians. The mores, the so-called values, the path that I am supposed to religiously and perfectly follow.
Of course, let us be honest. When I talk about some of my questions with friends, I frequently find that the worry seems to center much more on the outward actions one might see and potentially disapprove of rather than inward attitudes. So if I am greedy or mean or judgmental, I might get some sort of mild censure, as in being told that those attitudes aren’t Christlike. But if I suggest that I might make poor choices of a sexual nature or involving alcohol/drugs, I might get an entire lecture on how this will ruin my life. To be fair, shouldn’t we think that both types could “ruin” one’s life?
However, even with that, I fail to see how a life could be ruined, in the sense that we use that word, in light of God’s redeeming nature. Not that you sin so that grace abounds. But understanding that you are not always on a perfectly straight path through life, and might find yourself in a different place than you should be. Or maybe it is right where you should be, and you will learn and grow from the experience in a way you could have never guessed.
Honestly, I have no answers for my musings, only more musings.
So if I stray from my set path, the one not set by me but others, show me some grace as I muddle my way through this life.
Apparently, it’s Leap Day, which makes this Leap Year. Somehow, I missed that information until this morning, when I didn’t notice on my own, but read about it on some of the blogs I follow.
I would like to blame school.
Skyping with a friend last night, we were talking about our busy schedules, and how we’ve done it to ourselves. No one made us sign up for grad school. And our inner drives to be A students keep us extra stressed. It seems that if we were okay with less than perfection, even with busyness, our lives would feel better.
But I have this idea in my head that if I allow myself to get anything less than an A, I will nullify any chances I might have had of getting a PhD someday. The thing is, I’m not even sure if Iwant a PhD. I just want to know I could. It’s sick.
Although, I did have the idea of getting a library sciences degree. You need a second masters, which I’m getting right now, and then I could be a theological librarian. How cool would that be? Something to think on.
So, Happy Leap Day, which, while it gives you an extra day, gives you no extra time.
I was going to have a second site dedicated to just poetry. But then I decided I’m tired of compartmentalizing my life, so if I want to post a poem, I’ll post it here. But most of them will simply stay buried in my poetry file.
That said, I “finished” the poem I put an excerpt of yesterday. I mean, it’s not actually finished, but it’s in a much closer state than it was previously. Most of my poems go through several tweaks, over the span of months or years, before I consider them truly done.
moving as one
to your every touch–
my flesh and yours.
you hold me close,
I feel you
and I breath you in,
between our bodies
is deeper than us
and is nothing
I can control.
when you let me go
as if I’ve drunk
too much beer
but I’ve only imbibed
and your body
is calling to mine.
Somehow, every poem I try to write about dancing ends up sounding like its about sex. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising to me.
It’s intoxicating. Dancing, that is.
An example, rough draft style:
to your every touch.
is between my flesh
The good thing is that I’m starting strong. I love the Dominican dishes I’ve prepared; there are some seriously great herbs involved (cilantro!!). I’m not going to doubt that I will eventually get tired of variations of rice & beans, but so far, it’s pretty satisfying. I think the hardest part for me is not being able to just eat whatever, whenever I want. But this will be good; it will help me reset some of my unhealthy eating patterns, force me to eat fruit or veggies as snacks and only when I’m truly hungry.
I am, in fact, eating an apple right now as I wait for my lunch to heat up. Toaster ovens take longer, but the taste is superior. And, as any of you who know me or who have followed my blog for some time know, I don’t use microwaves.
I’ve been reading Chris Seay’s daily devotions in his book A Place at the Table. I appreciate what he has to say; I like the prayers he includes, and I love the spotlight on an person. I’m not a huge fan of the translation he chose for the Scripture readings–I prefer a more literal rendering, one that takes less poetic license–but so far, so good.
10. A man’s place is in the army.
9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.
8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do other forms of work.
7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.
5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshipers.
4. To be ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.
3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, change the oil in the church vans, and maybe even lead the singing on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.
1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.
*As seen on a friend’s facebook wall–not sure where it originated. I couldn’t help but laugh; it’s perfect.
So I’ve realized that the gender conference I’m presenting my paper at is less than two weeks away. What?! My goal is to edit my paper this week, and then be able to finish getting a presentation outline and notes ready early next week, if not this week.
I plan on starting with discussion questions in small groups. Such as: “Does it matter if God has gender?” “Does the gender of God affect your faith?” And other questions I will brainstorm. I’m mostly going to use actual questions I’ve encountered from others. That said, if you have any suggestions (or questions of your own in this regard), please let me know! My topic, if you’ve forgotten, is gender identity in light of a genderless, relational Trinity. The questions will hopefully serve two purposes: they will let me know where my audience is coming from, and they will help my audience start to see their gaps or awareness in this subject. Hopefully we’ll be able to start on the same page, in other words.
I also came across a fantastic blog that briefly touched my topic today, have a look: Be Careful How You Speak. It’s just a really good, practical example of why this stuff matters.
I had such a strong desire today to sell my car, buy a truck, load my stuff and just drive until I found a place I felt like stopping. I had to actually talk myself out of it.
But this will be my new dream, the one that will help me survive until May, or September or December…
It must be my current workload that is making my loneliness feel overwhelming. I, ridiculously and pathetically, cried about an hour last night before bed; I felt that lonely. I’m sure it’s mostly my own doing: being too busy with schoolwork to really invest in those around me. But I also do feel as if my previous claim is legitimate (that I have tried; it’s just not reciprocal). And I suppose that I am a little gun shy after last year.
Although, one friend got in touch today to suggest that I not buy a truck and start driving, but instead work on “connecting,” as he put it. Another friend reminded me that driving to a completely new place won’t solve my current dilemma (lack of friendship). But those friends aren’t here. And there’s something nice about the idea of a new start, a new place.
However, instead of running away, I am making red potato soup and working on my Greek translation. Such is my life.
This is what I’m going to ask from life: that I would have just one physically present friend who wants to be friends with me just as much as I want to be friends with them. I’m tired of being alone. I’m tired of being lonely. I’m tired of being the one who puts forth effort time and time again. In fact, I quit. It’s better to be merely alone than to be alone after trying to not be. So from now on, if people want to see me, they can do the work. They can put forth the effort. And if not, well, Harry Potter will always be there for me. And I have plenty of homework.
I wish December would hurry up and get here. I’m ready for a change.
Tonight I am remembering a few great movies I grew up watching:
Short Circuit (Wall-E was totally a knock off of Number 5)
Flight of the Navigator
The Last Starfighter
Sometimes I wish I had the money to buy all the movies on my amazon wish list.