Friday, March 30, 2007

the luckiest sonofabitch in the world

so this week i've been just doing journey stuff. writing in the mornings. meeting with people, doing the usual. planning worship, counseling with people, met with someone interested in pursuing ministry, lunch with friends, phone calls with journeyers, prayer with someone, worked on website components, prepared a lent lunch talk. the usual. good stuff.
what was also usual - and wonderful - was that people checked on me. gave me affirmation. love. told me the talk we gave sunday morning was really good, honest, clean, clear. that leslie (wife and minister) and david (my awesome co-pastor) stacie (journey administrator and brilliant) and i, as well as the finance team chair (a great guy, deeply committed), did a really good job. that they know it must've been hard to talk about money shit, because journey's about love and serving, and not money - and that money is just part of how it works, a necessary component to helping good stuff happen.
it rocked. it really, really meant the world to me.
i feel fear sometimes, and it's always connected to one message, a lie, something i picked up in an uncertain and tumultuous childhood, and a message all of us get, i think, in one form or another. the message i heard and which made sense to me as a child was, If you disappoint us or make us angry or unhappy, you're a failure, and you will be rejected and alone.
the fear is about being alone and in danger. vulnerable. as the genesis story says about adam and eve when they felt separate from paradise, naked.
what i have come to understand in the last few years is that that lie is, in fact, a lie indeed. it's not true. not The Truth.
the truth is that i am a child of god, and safe, and loved, and the beloved.
my faith community gives me the gift of reminding me of this Truth all the time. it's not about ego or about hero worship. they just care about me, and i care about them. we mean it.
and besides, this faith community is too real itself, and too willing to join me in dealing with their own shit and lies and baggage and shadow, to allow me to go off into the ditch of ego. they watch me, and i watch them. and it's all love. all love. all all all all love.

i am the luckiest sonofabitch in the world. and i know it. and that's the Truth.

ps so, there will be people who will tell me sometimes that they are in fact not happy. they are frustrated, sad, angry, whatever. that they don't like this or that. i feel deep compassion for them that i could not feel when i was a younger man and afraid. i feel deep compassion for them because i know that it is true, i know it is, that whenever we are angry or frustrated or sad and we project that on someone else - we are not looking at ourselves, and seeing what our shit is. our own shit.
if i want to fix it for someone else, or blame someone else, it's because i have something lying to me, inside - and i can't see it clearly. i hear it, but i'm not hearing that it's not the truth, about myself. to say to someone else "you have to fix this" is really saying, "i'm uncomfortable and that frightens me and i am angry because i'm afraid. you have to fix it for me."
here's truth #1 - it's about you. me. whatever. whoever's feeling it? it's their shit.
here's truth #2 - it doesn't need to be fixed. there is no fixing. there is only being in something and responding to it with love.
here's truth #3 - it's not shit in that it's bad - it just is the thing we're carrying around, that we acquired somewhere along the way to help us when we were afraid or confused ... but it's not the truth. because the truth is, god is good and present and we don't have to be afraid at all.

i have a loving community. we sit in things together. we learn together. we all bring all of it and love each other through it.
it's not easy. sometimes we do a better job of it than we do at other times. we know that.
god can and does do ridiculously impossible and beautiful things with a community like that.


Anonymous said...

One of my most favorite quotes, which I try to live by and is written on my dry-erase board in my home study, "There are two ways to live your is though nothing is a miracle and the other is though everything is..."
Albert Einstein~

Newest favorite quote heard first tonight but knew in my heart all along, "When I follow Jesus, I leave my religion behind."

Maybe we should start a discussion group based on your blogs..You think I'm kidding. No joke. Thanks for highlighting me in the blog, 3rd row down, second word in, at least on my computer. I feel so special. :-)

Although I am assured I've applied to the Princeton of the Southwest, perfect to keep up with my erudite and pompous ways, especially when I have my "teeth" in and wearing a burgundy summer dress. ha! ha!

nonprofitprophet said...

"We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union." Cherokee Nation, Lone Watie - The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Really hasn't got anything to do with spirituality, but its a damn good quote. `npp