Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I've spent a lot of time feeling like a square peg. The proverbial round hole, of course, has always been church (and God, and trying to feel comfortable wearing one of those stupid Christian shirts.)

I don't fit in. I don't listen to that music. I don't like going to church or praying or hanging around with people that do, generally.

As a rule I don't raise my hands, I don't yell out things like, "HE IS RISEN!" and I tend to be a bit cynical when it comes to people who come around telling me I need to be filled with the Spirit.

It's not that I don't want to be filled with the Spirit. I just don't want to become the type of person who comes around telling people they need to be filled by the Spirit.

My belief in God has always been this thorn in the side of all my friends - many of them self-respecting progressive types that don't understand it and say things like, "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid..."

Yeah, I'm down with Han Solo.

Still - there is something deep inside me that has connected with Christianity - with God. And I've tried to cut those ties many times. I've ranted, raved and cursed the stupidity of those who call themselves Christians for not getting it...for putting petty theological issues over Loving others, or accepting those that need the church's acceptance more than anybody.

I've done that.

And God has never let me get away...at least too far.

I think that is Grace - not being able to walk away, even if you want to.

It's feeling compelled and compassionate and charged and sad and indignant and hopeful and tired - all because you know God has called you to something extraordinary.

Above all, it's Grace because it helps me realize that I am still unfinished. Even though I'm following, I'm not required to be 'done' or 'perfect' or 'complete'. I'm just called to be close, to obey, to serve.

And that sounds like Love to me.

"The first step of obedience makes Peter leaves his nets, and later get out of the ship; it calls upon a young man to leave his riches. Only this new existence, created through obedience, can make faith possible...(this) is a step within everybody's capacity...In the gospels the very first step a man must take is an act which radically affects his whole existence."
-D. Bonhoeffer