Archive for March, 2004

I have been gone a while. I am not really gone… just busy. It seems like I have more elementary school homework now, than I did when I was in elementary school. (I guess I don’t really have anything to complain about compared to Anne, our teacher friend) I am not really doing my kids homework (even though David thinks so) I just have to oversee the homework and check the homework and help with ideas sometimes. (I just know I am going to get it for that comment) Anyway… we got through the Calif. Mission project and the Jr. High Social Studies pyramid project. (yes I did help with those building projects, so sue me) And I got some dishes washed and some laundry cleaned and folded. And did my waitressing work on the weekends. That does not sound like much does it. Man, it felt like a lot. Blah Blah blah! That is not what I wanted to blog about.

I have been slowly but surely reading a book by Brian McLaren Titled: A New Kind of Christian. This has been a thought provoking book. It seems to be trying to explain the new phenomenon of Christianity while warning against taking up an “us vs. them” mentality. I feel it is challenging many of my dearly held evangelical beliefs. And causing me to think more about God’s will and God’s Kingdom. I am only on page 56. I have to stop for a while when it gets too deep. It seems like I understand better when I come back to it later.

Another book that I have started reading is by Henri J. M. Nouwen Titled: Reaching Out. So far I am loving it. It started speaking to me right where I am at. From the very beginning in the Foreword and the Introduction I heard him speaking right to me. Here is a quote from the Foreword (I hope I don’t get in trouble for quoting without permission.)

“This book does not offer answers or solutions but is written in the conviction that the quest for an authentic Christian spirituality is worth the effort and the pain, since in the midst of this quest we can find signs offering hope, courage and confidence.”
and later he says, “Maybe my own deep-rooted fear to be on my own and alone kept me going from person to person, book to book and school to school, anxiously avoiding the pain of accepting the responsibility for my own life. All that is quite possible, but more important is that the time seems to have come when I can no longer stand back with the remark, “Some say… others say.” but have to respond to the question, ” But what do you say?” (see Mark 8:27-30)

This is all hitting too close to home for me… but in a good way. I do need to accept responsibility for my own life and my spirituality. I do need to be able to answer the question “But what do you say?” I do need to be able to face my fears of being on my own and alone. Don’t we all? Maybe it is not such a big deal for everyone, but I think that what is talked about in this book will be universal enough for it to touch a nerve in each one of us. And more than that if we let it.

The first section of this book is about loneliness verses solitude. He talks about how we go to great lengths to avoid or mask the pain of loneliness. Then he quotes John Lennon “Feel your own pain,” and says “but, how hard that is!” He talks about the need to have an inward life; an inner mystery.

Actually, as I am reading this book I find myself thinking more inward thoughts and trying to feel what I am feeling. (I am not trying to be wierd here! ) I do need to create space for solitude and I am so glad to have this book to remind me that I can move past loneliness to solitude if I will just let myself try. Or should I say MAKE myself try? That would probably be more like it.


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