A Censoring

So, I hid the post I wrote yesterday. I didn’t erase. Just hid it from public view. It’s not that I’m embarrassed about it, or that I wish I didn’t write it. It’s more that, for what it is, it’s half finished rather than complete, and while I know what I’m trying to sort out, the state of not being entirely sorted out becomes a problem when it’s a topic that people not only hold near and dear but see as a very part of their identity.

But, even still, that’s not the biggest reason why I’m stepping back. Mostly it’s because the topic itself is near and dear to my own heart as well, stirring up issues and questions and musings that don’t have a resolution quite yet, and in their unresolved state such musings can serve more as an agitator than a peace maker.

And what I really need right now is peace. Peace within. I have thoughts, and opinions, and questions, but at the same time I know I’m not in a situation where such have the chance to be worked out in practice. In my in-between place, I agitate without application. And in doing that, do to myself what my big critique from yesterday was about. I pursue rhetoric without providing context for change.

The issue then becomes those other people, the targets of my frustration or my condemnation. Even if I add a whole lot of prefaces to say that it’s not personal but general musings at work, it’s still a fact that in exploring the context of church I am dealing with some of my own very deep personal hopes and frustrations. It is personal, because it’s something that has very deeply shaped me as a person. Churches have been where my identity has come into focus. So, as I explore, I can’t distance myself from this personal reality, even if my Thinking side says it’s totally rational and possible to do so.

Then, my goal in writing to seek more freedom becomes a tightening chain, in which I am enslaved to dealing with issues and topics that ignite my passions. At which point I burn out, putting aside writing and considering because as long as resolutions are still off in the mists I can’t quite see the light.

There’s also a bit of humility involved. Who am I? Sure, that’s the sort of question that could undermine the entire theological task altogether. At the same time, I wonder if there’s a lesson in provocation that doesn’t insist on a rational response but instead could be better served by learning how to quiet my soul.

Now this gets dangerously close to passivity. So, there are the two lines in the middle of which is, I think, the learning space where I must learn to sharpen my spiritual senses and hone my responses, learning that the way of peace isn’t something I think other people should get to doing, but something that, first of all, needs to resonate deep within my own soul. Only out of that well can I become a person who resonates a deep peace and hope and life to others.

The reality is that, no matter my theological ponderings on the nature and purpose of the church, I became a member of this particular church because of, primarily, a feeling like God really was calling me to do so. Whatever my role, and my role may simply be to learn how to not insist on a role and learn how to quiet my soul in the midst of memory-laden frustration, I need to seek the way of peace.

I have spent a lot of time grumbling in the wilderness. And even if it’s rational to point out there’s no water and the people tend to be starving, or at least starving in the sense they’re weary of the manna, I think I’m worn out with being included among the grumblers.

So, I have to find my way to express my musings, questions, insights, in a manner that’s not caught up in the passions of inner frenzy.

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to continue to try to express what’s on my mind, more that, in this moment, on this morning, I want to step back and make a check of my own state of being first.

That’s all terribly navel-gazing, I know. But, it’s navel gazing for the sake of making sure that, above all, I hold onto the bonds of peace with others, that I affirm my commitments to them–an affirmation that I committed to when I became a member of a particular church. That I, first of all, assert that if I have something to add it’s not meant as an expression of my own wan struggle for identity or dominance or position, setting myself in contrast to the leaders so that I can be, even if only in my mind, raised up to be someone important, with something to say.

I think that the Spirit has called me, and I think I have been given the sorts of strengths (Strategic, Ideation, Learner, Intellection, Context, INTJ, etc. and so on) which mark me as a particularly creative interpreter and possible bur. So, I have something to say, because like Jeremiah even if I know it’s bad for me I can’t help but talking sometimes. But I want to learn how to do so in the context of peace, not chaos, in the context of calm not frenzy. Because if I learn how to do this, I think that the constant storms of opposition or ignoring will no longer batter me about.

I want to keep my eyes on Christ, my identity in God, my path according to the Spirit. Because that’s where my life is truly to be found.

I’m tired of being a grumbler, even if I know my grumbling has sought to sound out answers for very persistent questions.

I want to be a healer, instead.

Not by trying to be someone I’m not, but by finding a way to hone my contributions, in the power and guidance of the Spirit, so that what is healing is a gift of the Spirit, processed through the identity Christ has given me, for the sake of real hope and renewal.

I honestly don’t know if I can find that. But, today, it is my prayer that this is who I would be.

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