Journaling My Journey Once More . . .
Today marks a new stage of my journey for me . . . and it is my intention to go back to using this blog to journal my journey again.
From October 13, 2011 to December 28, 2012 big pieces of my story are not just MY story, and I cannot really tell the part that is my own without giving up pieces that truly aren't mine to make available to strangers via a weblog. So bear with me as I jump from the summer of 2011 to now without really giving all the details. I do think an overview of my faith journey is in order though, since it is THAT that this blog records.
As I review all I wrote from the beginning of this blog, almost every post still rings true. I am still a follower of Jesus who believes in the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus, and affirms the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and most of the tenets of a reformed evangelical Christianity, as affirmed by the churches who are leaving the PCUSA to form their new denomination. I am also still a daily practitioner of prayer and meditation and regular practitioner of the other spiritual disciplines a la Foster and Willard (and Ignatius of Loyola), and also still surround myself with a community that affirms the same beliefs and practices the same practices as I do. (In as much as our faith is not JUST a social construct, it is indeed a social construct which is why the Bible gives so much instruction on how we live it out together.)
I am also a Christian who is not willing to build walls around my own narrow community in order to protect its sanctity or purity. On the contrary, I believe that REALITY trumps any map of reality, and if our map works and we follow it, our light will invade everything we touch, and the darkness has no equivalent power. So I'm not worried about stamping out heresy or about protecting my children from ideas that won't bear the weight of real life. I'm much more afraid of being that Christian who stands at a dry-erase board and teaches truth, and then goes away and lives like it doesn't really matter. (As Jesus said, if our salt loses its saltiness, we're &^%$'d.)
I also still affirm that it is a lot easier to center your life around an authentic chase after the Triune God if you don't pay your bills through a job about that chase. It is tough to worship the real "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" if you are paid to give lip service to the little icons of each printed in the corner of the official map of the group that pays you to reassure them that they can avoid the hard work of changing their map by just learning a better logical and political strategy to protect it. And it is hard to form the community of faith that we are called to form if we don't have fully-committed followers modeling how to be a fully-committed fully-educated follower of Jesus from the position of "the normal Christian life."
(None of that is to say that all of you who are my friends and who are paid to lead congregations or denominations in a way that is faithful and true are not just as sincere and much more educated than am I! But each of you know the reality about your own process, and it is many of those conversations with many of you that led me to choose a different path.)
We need each other, whether we think alike or whether we see things very differently. I need you to challenge the places that I project my expectations or analysis even though I have never actually walked on that part of the landscape but have only seen maps and pictures. And I need to do the same to you when you speak to what the land under my feet is actually like even though you are sadly mistaken and I know it.
But we need to challenge each other out of joy and peace and love, and not out of contentiousness. You need me to tell you that you are AMAZING (and each of you IS amazing, truly!!) and that it would be a tragedy to not give all you can give to our generation and to future generations, and that you bring me JOY just in observing you and knowing you (and each of you DO!). And I need you to keep creating me as you have been, through our friendships and through your prayers, for I am a social creature. We are social creatures. We were meant to be social creatures.
Most of all, I affirm that the mystery of our lives is the reality of our lives, more than is our definition or our analysis the reality of our lives. We come together in the woods between the worlds and each of us is one of the pools that leads to a whole world of its own . . . and we were made to explore world after world after world, even as we homestead in just a single world and nurture all those given to us in that intimacy.
And it is THAT journey that I am back to journaling here.