gentry13

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2005 at 9:22 pm

musing…

on sunday evening a friend said something funny. in the midst of a conversation concerning spiritual matters he said, “you sound healthier than i have ever heard you. what strikes me about our conversation is that you did not start by talking about your personal spiritual journey. rather, you started by talking about the health of the church. your heart has been set on fire for the church.”

hmm…i wish that his observation was completely true. however, the mere fact that it is partially true, that i am as interested, intrigued and intense about the spiritual well being about our community as i am about my own life, encourages me.

it encourages me. and yet, i cannot help but think about how much further i have to go. if my love for the church eventually outgrows my love for myself (and i desperately hope that it does), i think the consequences will be numerous. here are a few:

i will be more aware of how my words, my often abrasive, sarcastic, penetrating words have the potential to, or in fact do, wound others. case in point: i will not jokingly call james and rhys “fags” when one of my coworkers, who is most likely homosexual, is sitting five feet away.

i will complete those damned “not urgent but important tasks, like finalizing a leadership consulting team for the church and filing those 401c3 papers, that i would rather ignore.

i will do a better job of listening to my wife. the pixie is wise in so many ways (relational, practical, ecclesiological…) that i am not. she has so many wise things to say about the church that i will not hear unless i slow down and listen.

i will spend more time listening to God and would develop a deeper sensitivity to the Spirit. i think they have a few things to say about the church.

i will not judge my brothers and sisters.

i will stay in better touch with and develop personal relationships with the missionaries we support.

i will once again invest myself in theological reflection. i once rejected these labors because i correctly discerned that my motives were narcissistic. now, by God’s grace, my motives will be communal.

i will retreat regularly for study, reflection and prayer. i will also create opportunities for others to do the same.

i will follow-up on visitors and find creative ways to encourage the members of our community.

i am sure there are other consequences. by God’s grace, i will be surprised by the consequences of my love for the church becoming greater and my love for self becoming less.

if you ever have the time to pray for me, if there is one empty slot on your ever growing list, please pray that my love for the church and her Lord, will increase. may my narcissism decrease and my love for the church increase. perhaps one day my friend’s assertion will be found completely true.

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