Walking in the Light and "Why Not Women"
Walking out my faith each day would be easy if I had no limitations of time or energy, and if all the people around me weren't sinners.
Unfortunately, I have limited time and energy, and -- unlike you, probably (smile) -- I am married to a sinner, have parents who are also sinners, kids who are, and even my friends and those in my community of faith are sinners. It is very annoying!
But the most annoying thing is that I still lack maturity and discipline and knowledge, and there's nothing I can do to get it but to live one day at a time and try to follow Him to the next thing. And today that just isn't right. I wanted "real faith" to provide a formula to maturity today. I wanted it to provide some sort of medicine that turned a growing disciple into a fully mature one that didn't have any symptoms of that disease anymore. I wanted the tests to show a full remission of the disease of my sin. Now.
So today "walking out my faith" has to do with balancing responsibilities (like filing papers and keeping the house picked up) with joys (my little boys were a delight today, for some strange reason, and I was a patient and attentive mother, also for some unknown reason). And it is hard to maintain the appropriate "protestant work ethic" when there is more to do than can be done in the given amount of time. It is tempting to just ignore all unwanted responsibility for the stuff that I'm motivated to do. But genuine faith doesn't show up that way, at least over the long run, does it?
One thing I would have loved to spend the day on was reading a book that Trevecca loaned me. It is Why Not Women by Loren Cunningham, and is not new material to me, but is very well-written, and stirs up a lot of frustration that I've been working through again lately. I will finish it before I do a long post on the subject. But it is juxtaposed against the email groups for the other presbyterian denominations that I am part of, and the amazing anti-woman-leadership position that is so firmly held by those men and women. I used to be there myself; so I do get it. I also, finally, am getting what it means to serve God in my callings with my giftedness, and to empower everyone else in the church to do the same.
I am a newcomer to my congregation -- I've been attending for 10 years and a member for just four -- but such a large congregation of mostly older people also must have its members with the same bias. I like what Cunningham has to say about how the Holy Spirit brings change -- and about "tokenism". We are called to follow the Holy Spirit and His agenda, not to engage all injustice with the passion of a reformer. And so, for now, I will learn and grow and see where He takes me with my zeal in this.
I have a whole lot more to say here. But it isn't the right time, for me or for those that I am in fellowship with. I don't know them well enough to really know what is true of the community -- let alone the truth about each individual -- and so I cannot "speak the truth in love" to them personally on this subject. I will watch and wait and ponder what I think I see for a while.
Meanwhile, life is busy and full of joys -- even if the full remission of the disease of sin (using medical jargon, not theological!) is "just" promised, and today I am still on chemo.