upper room daily devotions

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wilderness Confession

Well, I've been out of the blogosphere for quite a while. I have been wandering in the wilderness for some time, wondering what God would have me do if I would respond with a "yes" to God's call. Much of the time I feel like a spiritual coward who is unwilling to wade deeply into God's healing waters out of fear that it will do what it promises - change me and, thus, require changes from me. Fear has become, unfortunately, too normative and standard in how I live life; I allow it to dictate and limit how I live. So, I confess this fear and express a desire to move through and out of it.

I know that I am not the only person to have hopes and dreams that fall by the wayside. We say that we have obligations, that we've grown up, that our visions aren't practical. We use the pressure of normative life to let us off the hook of living the full lives that God would have us live. The problem, of course, is that we do grow up and take on obligations. Sometimes dreams aren't practical; they can be foolish. Discerning between foolish day dreaming and bold faith can be a difficult, tedious, and confusing process. This is where I am.

I want to get a PhD. I want to create a video-based curriculum focused on spiritual practices and a Christian "Way" of life that could be used in adult Sunday schools. I want to work in water management and protection: eco-stewardship. And I want to help start a new Christian community.

I want to gather people together who have a deep hunger for more meaning in life - people who find chanting the psalms, celebrating the Eucharist, and praying meaningful. I want to gather these folks together in covenant relationship taking Sabbath, Sacrament, Stewardship, Service, Simplicity, and Scripture seriously. The community would include ancient rituals and be relevant for postmodern life. There would be an intentional living community living among the poorest in my city, offering hospitality, living simply, and shining with God's love. Eventually we would have a small working farm where people could go for transition and discernment: after a divorce, after treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, after leaving a bad relationship, during times of vocational change, on sabbatical, and so forth. I see this community clearly. It is radical and faithful to the God who has captured my heart.

The question isn't "what" for my life. The question is "how." How? How does one start a project like creating a curriculum? How does one start a community with monastic components, worship components, and covenantal components? How does one do these things and pay the mortgage, maintain health insurance, and keep family intact? How can I move from dreaming to living? From fear to faith?

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