Saturday, June 16, 2007

Confused ponderings

Lately, I've been reminded regularly and harshly that I've messed my life up pretty badly. I can't argue, despite my efforts to stay positive, upbeat and confident about changing things. Well, if I hadn't messed things up, I wouldn't be looking to make changes now, would I? Despite my acknowledged mistakes, I'm healthier than I was a year ago. I'm stronger. I have more stamina. I'm smaller. And my yard looks better. Those are good changes. That's something, isn't it? Isn't it?

I've long heard that real change is impossible for an adult, that our habits and characters just deepen their colors and harden their hold on our lives. I don't want to believe that. There is part of me that thinks that it's just un-Christian. Though I believe in a literal Resurrection, I also believe in resurrection as the ongoing metaphor for a Christian's life, a continuous parade of little s and rebirths as we grow. In my fundamentalist upbringing, this new birth had little in common with real birth. It was a miraculous turnaround. Billy Sunday, a former professional athlete and evangelist from another era who described himself as God's Fool, once strated being born again by doing a back flip in the middle of a sermon. Headed a new direction, he could walk with confidence in a divinely proscribed path.

It's never been like that for me. I've had to crawl and stumble my way through changes. I question myself almost every step of the way. I'm rarely sure about the will of God/dess for either my life or the world. There are times I truly envy that fundamentalist surety, but I do believe our Creator put a questioning, seeking spirit in me, one that could see many possibilities and goggle at Divine infinity and what all it could include. I sometimes think that my sin and mistakes have been some of my biggest blessings, because they are what motivate me to seek God/dess.

If my life weren't a mess, would I still be seeking God/dess? I hope so. I'd like to think so. I'd certainly like the opportunity to find out. Despite studying, reading and believing in Christ for years, I know that I still don't know much except for this. Act with love, the deepest love I know how to reach, and regardless of what changes I make, I can't go too far wrong. It just may not feel that way.

Christianity, spirituality

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Blogger Theresa Williams said...

James Wright wrote a wonderful poem about Billy Sunday who once preached on Wheeling Island. I went to Wheeling Island over Christmas, looking for the church where Sunday preached but I think it no longer exists. Wright loved Sunday for his ability to see the humor in his own experience (as opposed to Billy Graham, Wright said, who "just doesn't get it.") Very beautiful post.

June 17, 2007 12:11 PM  

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