I have been thinking about my feelings the past couple of days and why some things have just gotten me in such a turmoil. When something gets me that rocked, I know there has to be something more going on.
I think a major portion of the whole thing is the battle of two worlds that has been the hallmark of my life. I was raised by working class people in a working class home. My folks are "salt of the earth" type people who, due to circumstance of family and society, never finished the eighth grade. Our home was a kick-off-your-shoes-and-put-your-feet-on-the-coffee-table type of place. I don't think we ever had a matching set of towels or sheets. "Pretense" was just a sign of trying prove to others that you were something that you were not.
Now, all modesty aside, I am from that world but I am also from the world of academia. I do not have to go through my vitae, but suffice it to say that I have spent more time in college than some people spend in school. But even with all of this time in college, I still wore my Chuck Taylor's to graduation and wore my Garfield socks to defend my thesis.
I believe one of the best ways to show respect for someone is to provide them with a comfortable place to relax. This belief in comfort makes its way into my theology. Church is a place to "kick back with God." Yes, it is also a place to be challenged and to be moved, but it is also a place to be recharged. Maybe I focus too much on the "kicking back" and that focus on comfort may make some people feel (ironically) uncomfortable. But I also feel that for our faith to be meaningful in our lives, it must be something that we can truly live in.
I guess my focus on comfort opens the door for comments about sloppiness. And maybe there is some truth in that. But I also think that there are some others out there who need their faith to fit like an old shoe or maybe it would be better to say a well made running shoe; something that is truly comfortable and won't cause blisters. Maybe some need the blisters.
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