Tuesday, March 4, 2008

spring break 08.

Spring Break started for me last Thursday. It's been a strange mix.
That night we all played video games before the house show at icanfly. As it turns out, I'm really skilled in the virtual fighting arena. Had no idea.

Friday I went to get my hair done at a salon in Newnan. It wasn't a bad experience... but somehow my hair is back to being darker than it was before I started the process. It's also been trimmed down to an awkward length, and is... you know... falling out.
So, it's getting cut off entirely on Wednesday. I should have done that in the first place.
Then my older sister and I went out for birthday sushi with my dad. On the way we stopped for a beer at a place where dark figures from my past work. It put me in a really strange time-warp.
I don't really talk about my life before I became a Christian. Rest assured that you don't want to hear it.

The fun began when we all went to a cabin in Elijay.
It was nice to sit in the quiet for a while. To enjoy my friends without the distractions of television, cell phones, internet, traffic, school, etc.
It was nice to sit down to eat together around one table.

Spiritually speaking, I'm not in the best place that I've ever been. But I must say that I have a much healthier view on community than I ever have.

Lately I've been hearing a lot of "where have you been?"s. And this is my answer:
I've been living.
Being part of such a growing congregation I feel a little lost, and very bored.

What I love about who I have been spending my time with is that we are not homologous. Some of us are Christians. Some aren't. And with that, we don't all have the same moral compass. We don't all do the same things on Sundays. We don't all want nuclear families. We don't all want to graduate. We don't all go to the same places to drink coffee. We don't all smoke cigarettes. We don't all read the same books.
The only thing we all do together is eat and talk. But we do it transparently.
Despite all of our differences, I've never met a group of people who loved each other so boundlessly. Or people who think that each day should be lived 100% intentionally. Or people who aren't afraid to be alone for a little while. Or to ask and answer tough questions. Or to tell an off-color joke. Or be humiliated every so often.

I think that what I stepped away from was the feeling that I needed to be validated by people I find more interesting, or more influential, than myself.
In a way it's no different than my mom not wanting to leave her monetarily corrupt church because her husband is on the "board of trusties".

The problem with Christians is that we think who we are and what we do is so important.
I'd like it better if I thought that who God is and what God does mattered most.


Cameron Lawrence said...

I had a similar experience my senior year of college. At the end of the previous year, I stepped away from the ministry group I was a part of, and quit my job as a worship leader at a local church. I spent the next year hanging out with a group as diverse as yours, it sounds like---and imagine that, they were people from my classes. It was a great time for me spiritually, surprisingly. Shedding the trappings of the ministry I was involved in, and the insulated thinking I encountered there, proved to be beneficial in many ways. What I have now is much different than those ministry days---it's more balanced, honest, diverse, human. But it's different than the year I spent with my classmates, too. I think I've realized we need both, but there is not replacement for the church.

What do you mean in your last paragraph by "who we are" and "what we do"? Are you talking about jobs and hobbies? Or are you talking about our spiritual life and service?

katiewhitecoat said...

you're right. nothing could ever replace the church. especially trinity for me. but i did need to give myself some air from from whatever it is that's going on with the crowd i had been following.

in the last paragraph i specifically mean the importance we put on our image. the ways that we're always trying to make people -who are just like ourselves- think we're... worthy or something.

and also the way that our jobs and hobbies define us. i've heard so many people say that they're frustrated because God hasn't told them "what they're supposed to do with their lives". i mean, i've definitely felt that way... but i know that for me it was simply because i wanted to stop asking questions, and to start living comfortably.
i think that completely living, and being available each insignificant day is what we are "supposed to do".

i don't even know if that made any sense.

Cameron Lawrence said...

Yeah, that does make sense. You're right---there's often a huge over-emphasis on us, our desires, our fulfillment. And I like your last sentence very much---it kind of reminds me of what St. John (the Baptist) said: "He must increase, but I must decrease." That, to me, is about as clear a statement on the will of God I've ever heard.

The only caveat I'd want to make about your last point is that I'm not sure we can always separate out what God does and what we do. We're called to be co-laborers with Him, and He's equipped us to do good works. So, in one sense it is about us and what we do. But it's where we point when all is said and done that matters. It's to what end we are 'doing' what we do---the glory of Christ and our oneness with Him (through obedience); or our image, resume, wealth, fulfillment, etc. But maybe all this doesn't have much to do with what you're saying. In any case, I appreciate your thoughts.

Done rambling now.