Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Blessed Are the Thinkers

Anyone uncomfortable with thinking about the tried and true stuff of life in new ways should probably not read the stuff Richard Rohr writes.  He is certainly no status quo dweller and neither does he encourage others to pitch a tent in such a land.  In one of his books with the strange title, "Falling Upward," he explores the difference in what he speaks of as the two halves of life.  One of my earlier underlinings in this book reads, "The familiar and the habitual are so falsely reassuring and most of us make our homes there permanently. The new is always by definition unfamiliar and untested, so God, life, destiny, suffering have to give us a big push--usually a big one--or we will not go.  Someone has to make clear to us that homes are not meant to be lived in--but only to be moved out from."
Without trying to speak in a geographic context, it has been my experience that a big push has often been necessary to get me to move from one place, or one season, in my life to the next one.  I have always seemed to be one of those who likes it where I am.  Such an approach to living our spiritual life is "counter Kingdom," meaning that it is not really the way of the Kingdom of God seekers.  All the great stories found in the Word tell us about men and women being drawn by the Spirit from one faith place to another.  As sure as we start feeling secure and comfortable where we are in our journey of faith, God will beckon us forward to a place where comfort and control is no longer the standard of normal.
Screaming and kicking is how I have often gone.  Wondering why life has to be like it is has been the attitude to which I often cling in moments of change.  Avoiding the hard and painful has always seemed to make the most sense.  Yet, getting me from where I choose to be to where I have come to understand God is calling me to be has often required me to stand in such moments.  Most of us do not easily slip and slide forward into God's future for us; instead, we hang on to the past as if it is good for the rest of our life.  It is no wonder we experience life as such a struggle.

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