Saturday, January 23, 2010

Aanhalings uit “Leaving Church” – Babara Brown Taylor

Koop by die Amazone -
This is not the life I planned or the life I recommend
to others. But it is the life that has turned out to be mine, and the
central revelation in it for me-that the call to serve God is first
and last the call to be fully human!

Jesus called them finding life, losing life,
and finding life again, with the paradoxical promise that finders
will be losers while those who lose their lives for his sake will wind
up finding them again. In Greek the word is psyche, meaning not
only "life" but also the conscious self, the personality, the soul. You
do not have to die in order to discover the truth of this teaching, in
other words. You only need to lose track of who you are, or who
you thought you were supposed to be, so that you end up lying flat
on the dirt floor basement of your heart. Do this, Jesus says, and
you will live.

I guess you could say that my losses have been chiefly in the
area of faith, and specifically in the area of being certain who God
is, what God wants of me, and what it means to be Christian in a
world where religion often seems to do more harm than good.

Since we are both intuitive types, we do not decide things as
much as we gravitate toward them. This is not very theological
language, 1 know, but on the subject of divine guidance 1 side with
Susan B. Anthony. "I distrust those people who know so well what
God wants them to do," she once said, "because 1 notice it always
coincides with their own desires." Having been somewhat of an
expert on the sanctification of my own desires, 1 try not to pin
them on God anymore. At the same time, 1 recognize the
enormous energy in them, which strikes me as something that God
might be able to use.

When 1 read the stories in the Bible about people such as
Sarah, Jacob, or David, what stands out is not their virtue but their very strong wants. Sarah wanted her son to prevail over Hagar's
son, Jacob wanted his older brother's blessing, and David wanted
Bathsheba. While these cravings clearly bought them all kinds of
well-deserved trouble, they also kept these characters very, very
alive. Their desires propelled them in ways that God could use,
better than God could use those who never colored outside the
lines. Based on their example, I decided to take responsibility for
what I wanted and to trust God to take it from there.
Intuition may be one way of speaking about how God does
that-takes things from here to there, I mean. Since intuition
operates lower down than the frontal lobe, it is not easy to talk
about how it works. In general, I tend not to pay much attention to
it until I have completed all of my research, compiled my lists of
pros and cons, and made a rational decision based on facts. Then,
when I cannot sleep because the rational decision seems all wrong
to me, I start paying attention to the gyroscope of my intuition,
which operates below the radar of my reason. I pay attention to
recurring dreams and interesting coincidences. I let my feelings
off the leash and follow them around. When something moves in
my peripheral vision, I leave the path to investigate, since it would
be a shame to walk right by a burning bush. At this point, reason is all but useless to me. All that remains is trust. Will I trust my
intuition or won't I? The more I do, the more intuitive I become.
This is as close as I can come to describing the guidance of the
Holy Spirit.

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