To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A rule of thumb I learned in my Montessori training years ago was that we internalize the order...(or lack of)...that is around us. While I disagree with some aspects of Montessori and where it ends up, I do find this nugget of wisdom to be true. Times spent organizing and putting things to rights in the physical world tend to have an effect on the non-physical world. It can be that we fill more in control, more at peace, or safer if everything is in it's place. I also find that as my hands work through the tangible stuff my mind sifts, sorts and weighs the mental stuff. I get more control of my emotions and my mind becomes more peaceful as I mentally mirror the "putting to rights" of my thoughts and beliefs. Just as I can cull through items and realize what is necessary and needful to keep for the advantage and good of my family I can cull through my thoughts and beliefs to keep that which is good.
We are in day three of the bathroom redo. I am also reading that book Unchristian. I was struck yesterday how the two things are moving parallel in my life. We took down things in the bathroom that at one time might have been good but no longer serve a purpose. Now they don't do much but take up space and get in the way. When thinking of the Church I have the same situation. (Please read I am speaking of methods and modes...not the Gospel itself except our perception of what the Gospel is.) Ways of doing Church sometimes no longer apply and serve a purpose to this new generation. In the same way that the old ceramic toothbrush holder was made to accommodate a size and style of toothbrush that isn't made anymore...ways of "doing" church or "being" the Church no longer fit. People are different in their thinking and ways of thinking. We can argue all day long about whether or not it is right or wrong to make toothbrushes different than the way they used to be made but it doesn't change the fact that the toothbrushes will not fit into the old holder anymore.
Deconstruction is messy business. As we sanded and smoothed out all the stuff that didn't belong yesterday we got messy. But now that we're done we're ready to move forward. In the case of the bathroom the walls are ready for paint and the next steps of having a bathroom that meets the needs of a family living in the 21st century and not 1970 something. In my head and heart I am learning how to meet the needs of a new generation that needs to see Christ. I am slowly learning to see with their eyes instead of demanding that they see with mine. It's difficult...and painful sometimes to let go of "my ways"...but it's beautiful. Seeing Christ always is.


WunderMom said...

Wow- this is so insightful! You have a beautiful way of putting these thoughts into pictures that are easy to understand and relate to. Rob has that same gift in teaching and preaching. Taking highly difficult intellectual ideas and doctrines and sifting them down so the average layman can understand and identify.

You make a great team! Thanks for sharing this. It needs to be said/heard.

s g said...

Well said.