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Friday, February 01, 2008

Doctor orders rubber ducking time.

Recently I went to the doctor. After reviewing my aliments, he gave me some medicine and ordered me to take several hot soaks in the tub. So, I came home and started my “treatment”. I have not had a “bath” in decades. So I found myself in a nice tub of hot water and some additives, bored out of my mine. My lovely “Girl Friday” walks in with a book and a glass of red wine. She states “thought you might need these”. The book she brought to me was called “Messy Spirituality”, God’s annoying love for imperfect people by Michael Yaconelli.

I purchased this book some time ago and it has sat on the shelf, un-noticed and unimportant. It is funny how these things work. As I read this book the topic was presented to me at a perfect time in my life. I had recently heard a great quote that had me thinking about such things. The quote went something like this “God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called”. Anyway, the book touches on how Christ did religion all wrong. And that is the point, the religious miss God because they focus so much on the rules that they have made about how to follow God.

Like most of the books I like, this one has many quotes in it. Quotes like: “He got all “A’s” and flunked life”, by Walker Percy, and “It is not going to be easy to listen to God’s Call. Your insecurity, your self-doubt, and your great need for affirmation make you lose trust in your inner voice and run away from yourself. But you know that God speaks to you through your inner voice and that you will find joy and peace only if you follow it”, by Henri Nouwen,The inner voice of Love.

As my body soaked up the medicine, my soul soaked up the moment. Robert Capon’s quote “The church, by large, has had a poor record of encouraging freedom. She has spent so much time inculcating in us the fear of making mistakes, that she has made us like ill-taught piano students: we play our songs, but we never really hear them because our main concern is not to make music but to avoid some flub that will get us in Dutch”, speaks volumes to me.

I was pondering the concept that we are taught to live in constant fear of our mistakes that we never live our lives as God intended. Is it possible to follow all the rules and have God pissed off at us? Why did Christ break so many of the religious rules of the day? Has the church become so concerned about the theology that she has lost sight of God, and His purpose for us.


1 Comment:

Endlessly restless said...

I love the Nouwen quotation - I'll use that some time.

In my experience, the fear thing is about avoiding criticism and schism. This usually means that a bland middle way is chosen, and also that those who complain loudest have the most significant voice.

The church needs courageous, principled leadership.

And yes, I recognise that it's easy to criticise from the sidelines, but then again they said that about the prophets too!

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