EVER THE ROAD GOES ON

Living the questions and trying to think theologically... and practically. Learning that these things are more synonymous than I once thought.

Name:
Location: Dallas, TX

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Transitions 2

The person I was is not like the person I am becoming, yet the passions and scars of the past will always haunt my perspective. Being at home in Kossuth these past few weeks has allowed me to reflect on the past. I'm not the girl who was so hell bent on being a Super Christian. I really think that was my life's ambition in high school, maybe into college even. While I believe there were times of genuine faith and connection with Christ in the days of my adolescence, there was lots of legalism. I had no idea what the word legalism meant at that period of my life. Being steeped in the cultural Christianity of the Bible Belt, I made every effort to be the model saint. Some things I really took a harsh stance on things without really knowing why. You know, all those issues that the fundamentalist conservatives would die for: not consuming alcohol, bashing gays, and prayer in schools. This was the only kind of Christianity I knew. I tried as hard as I could to do everything right, but I always felt like a miserable failure because undoubtedly I would lust, doubt, or slack off on quiet times.

Towards the end of my college experience, I started getting frustrated with it all. Then in a Christian Education class, I read a book called
A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren. Looking back, I think it had a pretty profound impact on my life. McLaren's thoughts and ideas were a cold drink of water to my parched soul. This was a whole new way of following after Christ that I had never seen. It excited and enticed me. It helped me to see that it was okay to be real about your struggles with faith and to be the person you really are. I began to understand that Christ's life was more about loving people than judging them. This helped me to quit judging people- most of all myself.

I'm still processing what I learned from that book, and my views on church and God are still changing. I am still changing. The hardest thing is having this new outlook, but still being surrounded by the old model.

I've started reading this book called Girl Meets God. It's written by this really hip chic named Lauren Winner who is Jewish but then becomes a Christian. While she is ready to divorce Judaism and embrace Christianity, she struggles because she comes to Christianity with a Jewish perspective that is hard to shake. I feel the same way about my current transition. While I'm upset with the traditions, ideas, and practices of the brand of Christianity I knew when I was younger, it has a profound impact on the way I view the new kind of Christian I want to be. I pray, that though I'm not a profound conversationalist, God sends relationships my way that will help me in this journey. I'm a person that really needs to talk things out with someone who has real patience. That leads us to transition 3 which we will definitely have to save for tomorrow. Mom and I have kept the kids all day, and I am pooped.

1 Comments:

Blogger * leslie ann * said...

Janalee...

I thought about you the other day because I was in Corinth visiting Dennis, and we went to Tate for church Sunday morning...but you weren't there (it was a couple of weeks ago)...

I think you and I share similar experiences, and I'm so sorry that we didn't hang out more while I was in Waco. Both of us were raised in the Deep South and have had to struggle with being very attached to people and places that are still very conservative and staid.

I share your sentiments about leaving MC. I thought Truett would be like the BSU at State, and I was shocked when I realized just how wrong I was about that.

Anyway, I hope you're having a good summer. Don't have too much fun!

Leslie Ann
(this is my blog name, but I haven't used it in ages...)

5:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home