Friday, August 08, 2008

Ezekiel 7:10

When someone reads my story, I always find myself wondering if it will be seen as anything other than that.

If you read my blog regularly, you know that I am in the process of reinventing myself. Among the biggest adjustments I’ve made in the last three years, changing careers and changing what I think about church are the most predominant. I often wonder if my writing is seen as assumption that everyone should do as I have done and quit church and start a business.

Only if you feel you have to.

I don’t recommend any kind of personal change unless there is a deep sense that you should. Don’t try and answer questions that you feel no need to ask. Don’t assume that what I have gone through is what you need to do also

I made these changes because I couldn’t sleep at night. I took the risk because I felt Boredom rake itself through my soul like fingernails on a chalkboard. I didn’t do this because I read that it’s the next trend in reaching pre-ex-postmoderns. I did it because I wanted to thrive, not just survive.

I did it because being faithful no longer meant doing the same thing and just keep plodding along. The Sameness drained me of faith instead of having the opposite effect. My heritage put a high value on being consistent. This is a fine quality, but where is it supposed to take me?

One motive in being consistent in my faith practices was to look like the other guy, but it came at the expense of being myself. I am getting this back once again, and I am liking what I see.

In my effort to be like the other guy, I memorized gazillions of Bible verses that I could quote at the drop of a hat. Many were obscure, strange little passages that made me look smart. Let it be known that I don’t discount that practice. It’s just that it came at a time in my life that I used it for something a little less noble than what it appeared.

One of those thoughts that I memorized years ago still sticks with me. It’s a story about Peter bitching to Jesus about his buddy John. Peter was probably like me, craving attention and needing to be seen by the Lord as someone who is worthwhile. Jesus described Peter’s fate in not-so glowing terms, which got him a little ticked. Peter pointed the finger to John and wanted to know from Jesus what would happen to him, too.

This is where I would revert to word-for-word recitation of the passage for fear of getting it wrong and thereby being passed over for the next round of promotions. But my faith rests in the Author, not the Recital. This has made all the difference in the world in my absorption of the Idea.

Jesus told Peter to not worry about the other guy. His outcome is going to be different than yours, not because I like him better or because you are thick headed and need to suffer more grief. No, his life will not be the same because fairness isn’t the point. Doling out the same goods to every person on earth is not going to matter. What matters is the faith you possess and do you express it in love.

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