Sunday, October 7, 2007

pressing on, pressing in

This morning I didn’t wake up until it was light outside (that is, aside from when I woke up to let Sheila out). That doesn’t happen very often. At first I felt a little bad about this in that it implied laziness, lack of enthusiasm; something of that ilk. It was too late to go to the Catholic church, St. Clare’s, and I’d already determined to not go to the Vineyard. “Perhaps I won’t go to church today,” I thought. The Pinnacles were beckoning. “Perhaps I’ll just spend some time in meditation and study. I’ll have some alone-time.” (As if spending a weekend with no one else at home did not suffice in cultivating my proclivity toward loneliness). I’ve been wrestling with the idea of giving up on several different things-Sheila, work, Kentucky, religion, myself, hope in relationships-reaffirming in my own mind the inclination to believe that I am at heart a quitter. At Healing Rain we’ve no tolerance for negative self-talk and I try to apply this to myself as well. What is this feeling doing for you is it getting you what you want? “Pick a church and go to it, ya goon.” Close enough.

I’ve been thinking about a Lutheran church that Michael had told me about when I first moved here and he thought I was Episcopalian. St Thomas Lutheran Church in Richmond. The pastor, Andy, I had once met while part of the Rockcastle Volunteer House. We took a field trip to visit the intentional community he shares with some other folks. I was enchanted with the families in that community, the way they lived and loved each other and respected creation. That was the day a certain fellow walked from Berea to Mt. Vernon to propose to me; the beginning of a dismal journey with trick ends, bends, new beginnings and answers that turned into questions that I've given up asking. That to say, thought of the community was pressed prematurely from me. The church though came up in conversation and I decided to look it up online this morning.

In the “What We Believe Section” of St. Thomas’ website they had written this about sin, “Sin is anything that we allow to fool us into thinking that God is not really there, we are not really human, or others are not really worth it.” (Lord, have mercy) They’d written other things too, in short simple statements about God and Women and Heaven and Hell; things I believe that I believe. I decided to go. This morning, before leaving for church, I took Sheila for a walk and felt new hope about my life here. I will press on and as I turn to the right or to the left, I will listen for the whisper of the Spirit to say, “this is the way, walk in it.” I still feel a foggy uncertainty, a weary melancholy, but faith abides.

“For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
it speaks of the end,
and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
it will surely come, it will not delay.
Look at the proud!
Their spirit is not right in them,
but the righteous live by their faith.”

Habakkuk 2:3-4 from today’s reading.

William Penn said, “The adventure of the Christian life is to do what we would not dare attempt without Christ,” (or something to that effect). Most things that are expected of me are not things that I am naturally inclined toward attempting. But oh how I love an adventure, and oh how Jesus Christ (wonderful mystery) loves me.

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