Searching

So, here’s the thing. I’ve been submerged in this notion of deconstructing my faith, without really knowing what to call it. The terminology has come about only recently thanks to folks like Rob Bell and The Liturgists podcast, among others. Having been wrapped up in this largely cerebral process of pulling my faith apart, logical piece by logical piece, I never lost my sense of community and the overwhelming need both for myself and for my family and honestly, for humanity as a whole to be connected, apart of each other’s lives. 

Having said that, I now find myself in a space where I am ready to begin rebuilding some sort of faith (I don’t know what else to call it at this point). I find great value and energy spending time with people in real, authentic, life giving and transforming sorts of ways. 

As I’ve mentioned before I grew up in a largely conservative Christian space, and though there are certain theological and social issues that separate us, there is a sense of community, of being apart of something that is so very needed in our individualized society. But we can’t see ourselves in those churches again because if my wife is a second class member, as well as my GLBTQ friends, we can’t hang, if you catch my drift. 

So, we gravitated to progressive Christianity. Which, theologically and socially speaking, most everything it stands for, I can get behind. There are some things though that may come as news and possibly offensive to my progressive friends. The democratic political process is not going to save the world. I’m as uneasy as any other liberal Christian about a Donald Trump presidency, but I don’t think Jesus gave a shit about Cesar or the unjust laws that essentially imprisioned the majority of the population. 

I think there is a middle ground that no one is talking about. A place between the liberal change-the-laws-of-the-land mentality and the everyone-is-wrong -except-us version of conservative Christianity. And I know some argue that Christianity as a whole is dangerous, but personally, I’m not sure. What could be wrong with actually taking care of each other, like, paying each other’s bills, feeding our friends, actually living life together? When I read stories in the sacred writings of Christianity, that’s what I see and that’s what I want. Though of course, one doesn’t need a church to do good in the world, I realize that. 

But, I still long for that group of like minded people. We are looking, but I have yet to find a group, church or community here that is interested both in the compassionate life, lived in community with friends and family as well as taking care of those around us. What really makes a difference for people who are living in, say, poverty? Saying I’m going to work to change laws to help you out, or actually paying for a medical bill or trip to the grocery store? 

I’m kind of rambling now, which I guess is progress. Needless to say, I may need to visit this one again. There’s a lot here. 

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Meaning

According to my wife, there is a question that I bring every couple months wrapped in some sort of mildly different language. Generally I often wonder, “is my work as meaningful as say, the architect of a cathedral?”

Last night, the question came up again and my wife respond with another question. “Is there something deeper you’re trying to figure out? Are you unhappy with your job?”

I’m not sure. I think there is certainly something underneath that nagging question, but I haven’t spent enough time to mine that far down into my psyche. Maybe it’s not even a matter of mining down, but answering the most basic of questions. Am I happy in my work? 

I know for certain that I have a deep longing for real, authentic connection with people and I’ll admit that I don’t have much of that at my current job. That could be partly due to my view of the people there as well as the intention I put forth as I enter into that place. Perhaps I have an ideal built up in my mind that needs to be razed to make room for a more holistic view of human relationship. I’m not sure. I do know that I have a relatively low capacity to talk about football or women for any length of time. I prefer the more substantive things, and my current colleagues are not particularly interested in things below the surface. 

So what does that mean? Do I find new work? Do I invest more heavily in those I spend time with? Am I projecting on others my own faults? Does anyone else care about living a life more purposeful, authentic and full of meaning? Where do I go? I feel stuck, paralyzed with fear, comfort and predictability. Why do I always end up here?