Making it up as you go along.
That state of mind wherein direction and actions, thought and speech, response and analysis are primarily intuitive. Based upon what I know, what I have learned, what I believe, what I trust from my past and present. We have all been in such a situation where there was nothing other than “us” to get us through. Sometimes it is a refreshing “place to be” – at others times a stressful place. And always a place wherein “hindsight” thereafter can judge.
Just a small thought coming to mind from this morning’s (Friday UK time) meditation (Thursday USA time) with ChapLynne:
That the early church as it is known – that eclectic bunch of disciples now promoted to aspostles and joined by others bashed over the head by the newly released Holy Spirit – are already discovering the joy of ologies and isms in their rawest form.
And we have their “making it up as they go along” documented and catalogued and in an easy to read version. This New Testament. We have hindsight. And we judge.
ChapLynne makes reference to creeds. And councils. Stuff like that.
Last night in a cold carpark on the wheezing geriatric bus in which we welcome youngsters with open arms and some hot drinks – I was chatting to a friend. Again discussing “church” and faith and commitment and love.
That to many the once a week hour of attendance is a stamp on the “Christian I am Okay Jack Register”. The week’s praise and commitment being fulfilled in a nicely sanitised and smelling of polish pew or chair. And that thought comes to mind stimulated by the lovely Limbi. Who was sharing “lukewarm” and its pitfalls. This complacency in our faith, our love and our commitment to the lord and father.
And then Don Merritt’s recent three posts relating a movement that faltered, spluttered and was run off the road into some trees. A movement that began with “Where the Bible speaks, we speak, and where the Bible is silent, we are silent.” and ended with a unloving and law filled interpretation of “Anything not specifically approved by the New Testament is unnecessary, hence sinful.” With the emphasis on sin. A rotting carcass of judgement and fear.
And I thought – again – this morning. What about this “Great Commission”. That phrase which has a shrinking effect on my soul. Another shorthand headline fuelled by testosterone and action. Another “Your Great Commission needs you” kind of effect on me.
What if the Great Commission was to document and catalogue a Now Testament. Would it be written by the high and mighty clerics robed and frocked and leading chants and choirs? Would it be written by missionaries out in some insect infested jungle bringing the institution of a riddled and divided church to yet more innocents? Would it be written by simple folk such as you and I who write ceaselessly from the comfort of our computer bays and laptop leisure time? Would it be written by the disenchanted and disenfranchised followers of a God they see as too personal and fragile to be tested and welded amongst and imperfect bunch of others with faith of different sizes and shapes?
Or do we now prefer to make it up as we go along?
I attended a course some time ago. A church course. A christian course. A course designed and intended to provide for those curious about this God and Jesus stuff. The blurb said it had great success in bringing people to God. It lasted eight weeks. And began with “Who is God”. Along with multi-choice questions to be answered and worksheets to complete. As the weeks progressed the “pitch” became ever more apparent. Leading to the final “sign here please” you are now saved.
I nearly took my faith and my god and ran home. Away from the malaise of “this won’t hurt a bit”, just open wide and swallow the potion, and I promise you will be saved. I nearly became another disenchanted other.
Yet this group became a force for change. A unity of frustration. A frustration that the lord we loved was made so saccharine sweet it became palatable enough to be calorie free and okay to swallow. Yet this course was Spirit-led in construction. Yet this course was attracting huge interest from others. In our case we used the saccharine as a bitter sweet catalyst for renewing and finding a vigour and larger love. To put the “why” back into faith. To allow the “I disagree” back into discussion. To find joy in opening our hearts to each other. To focus on a lord too big to be contained in a multi-choice tick box sheet.
We were making it up as we went along.
And that can be messy. That can be challenging. That can be stressful. And yet as I sit here reflecting with ChapLynne and all you other great guys and gals …
I am worth it. He is worth it. You are worth it. My god is Love. And I am happy that your God is also Love but not quite the same reflection I have. Your god is another facet of reflection. And if I dismiss your reflection, I dismiss my reflection in some way. I diminish God = Love. I may even purposely obstruct your sacred walk with our sacred father.
Labels? Creeds? Making it up as we go along? Suffering for our lord? Carrying a cross of burden? Disagreeing? Carrying a light yoke of joy? Finding a Love so Big and Huge that “I AM” might be the closet we ever get to nailing it?
I raise my glass to “Making it up as we go along.” I simply do that little tappy thing people do on the side to attract attention. Do I have your attention? Thank you.
Then I ask that we rejoice in this “all are Sacred (me as well).” That we embrace “God = Love = I am of I Am” for every single sacred being. And that we journey together in joy, love and acceptance.