Friday, November 15, 2013

If I'm Devout Now, Was I Vout Before?

Last night was Finn's birthday so we switched up bible study for hymn singing. We had, I think, 19 people here, including 5 young people, 1 infant, 1 young adult and her mother visiting from out of town and a bunch of others. We had some wonderful musicians with us so the music was as good as it was delightful and soul-enriching. Finn requested chili for supper so I made a pot of turkey chili and a pot of vegetarian along with a mess of sweet cornbread. 

I spent all day getting ready for the gathering: cooking, cleaning, decorating the cake with a frosting image of Link from Legend of Zelda, as well as tending Evie. It was a busy day, but rewarding, and everything was ready (if not tidy) by the time folks began showing up at 5:00. 

The evening was lovely; everyone got along well, conversation flowed, and food was devoured. Finn's birth was celebrated with laughter and song. 

After everyone had gone and I'd spent a little time putting the kitchen back in order, started the dishwasher, tucked Finn in bed and started a load of clothes so he would have clean pants in the morning, I headed to bed. As I brushed my teeth, I reflected on the day and thought about how much I like my life and then a realization hit me: I like who I am. I feel like I'm living up to the person God is calling me to be. This life that Mark and I have created together is an extension of who we are as we live together in God's presence. What a blessing!

When Mark returned from taking a friend home, we were talking about the evening and in reference to something, these words popped out of my mouth: "We are devout Christians, after all." Wha?! God has really been doing a number on me to own the word "devout" but after some reflection, I decided that I do own it. I'm not a devout Christian in any orthodox sense of that word: I swear a lot and I'm snarky and rude; I laugh at (and occasionally make) blasphemous jokes; I'm moody and frequently cranky; I'm judgmental about everything under the sun (because, despite these faults I'm listing, I am obviously perfect and everyone should do what I say: "Thank you God for making me better than fill-in-the-blank"). 

The kind of Christian I am doesn't adhere to any creed or dogma. I don't follow anyone else's ideas of sin and I have no attachment to the idea of Salvation in any usual Christian sense of the word. I am a devout Christian because I try to faithfully follow Christ. I try to make room (time + energy) to hear Christ speaking to me and I try really hard to be devoted enough so Christ can speak through me. I give thanks to God all over the place and I'm learning to turn to God with my sorrows and trouble, as well. I am a devout Christian because every day Jesus teaches me the way I want to live: with the awareness that this is not my world but God's. I'm learning what is my responsibility to share with others and how to do that. I'm a devout Christian because Jesus modeled compassion and faith and righteousness and when I emulate that model, however poorly I succeed, I find myself in the Slipstream, flowing with God's intentions for me.

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