10.25.2007

Doing Life Together

This is a month of the wisdom literature and of music for me . . . and by "wisdom literature", I guess I really mean just Ecclesiastes.

The Hebrews knew we are created, physical beings, and that our consciousness and our will and our passions and our bodies are not meant to be separated. And, in the end, we will be healed in new resurrected bodies that are fully integrated with a healthy psych and healthy actions and relationships. But, for now, with all creation we wait for that final day in a world that is far from perfect and in selfs that are far from what they will be in the fullness of His Kingdom.

Yet He tells us that the Kingdom is here now, in us and among us . . . and I do believe Him. Living and being in that reality is a whole other matter. "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, On Earth As It Is In Heaven!"

But life is good and God is good. He is integrating the "not yet" part of the Kingdom in my theology and practice with the "right here, right now" part. And Ecclesiastes is a big part of that integration, as are Paul's letters and Jesus' words in the gospels.

I spend an awful lot of energy trying to plan my actions and then being perplexed with myself for not executing the carefully wrought plan. That's come clear this month, too -- the "solution", that is. My motivations and actions reflect my strong intuition about what the real plan should be, and completely override the cognitive plan when my cognitions are ignoring the intuitive side of things. And that is good. So I am learning to honor my sense of "what is right", even when it doesn't fit with a systematic theology or with my own legalisms or with my desire to please any particular person or people.

God made me with huge drive and intensity when I am after something I am actually after, and huge brakes when I'm being pushed toward something that feels wrong or with a timing that feels wrong -- whether it's me or not doing the pushing. This month has been a month of coming to honor that internal control instead of fighting it. That just took a recognition that the Holy Spirit has consistently used that huge power that the Triune God created within me, and that I honor His control by sitting on my hands when that is what I must do and by running when that is what I must do.

I heard the talk that Henri Nouwen gave years ago at the Crystal Cathedral on Communion/Community/Ministry twice last weekend, and it was precious. I do live in communion with my dear Lord. I do practice the kind of intense listening that is the source for the word "obedience". And so I will relax into my practice of communion with my dear Lord, into participation in my community of faith, and into ministry in all the ways He leads me to step outside myself each day.

Ethics boils down to abiding in Jesus and to living in community and to exercising my giftedness in the world as all of the other members of the body exercise their giftedness and as we learn to submit to each other in love. Together we will be the Bride and be used by our Groom to bring the here-and-now Kingdom.

And as I listen to all my music and work on getting my home ready to be a place to entertain you, I am learning to relax.

I wonder how long it will take? But it doesn't really matter . . .

We all have millions of years to see all the "right here, right now" moments blur together into the glorious story that only He could write . . .

And all I'm ever called to do is live this moment with joy that He is in me and causes me to run when He wants me to run and to learn to rest and wait patiently when that is what He wants for now.

And love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control grow out of that kind of dance of obedience . . .

And it doesn't look anything like being a good little girl or like being the image I used to have of a "godly woman". I get to be real and full, and leave shallow legalisms and cultural handcuffs behind . . .

So watch out!

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