I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of making our goal not how good we are, but how awake we are. How faithful we are to whatever we were put here on earth to do.
So what excites me? What (besides the prospect of coffee) gets me jumping out of bed in the morning?
Goldfinches at my nyjer seed feeder. (I’d had the thing up for weeks and yesterday morning literally prayed in the name of Jesus for the goldfinches to come. By yesterday afternoon they were flocking to it).
How to use the radishes–which I don’t like–that came in the farmbox.
What little I see or hear of evangelizaton is geared toward people who are terrified of being made fun of or belittled. So they want to fortify themselves with intellectual arguments and defenses. They want to be able to point to the Church’s treasury of art, music, cathedrals–which, granted, is stupendous, but far in and of itself from the poverty of spirit that brings us face-to-face with Christ. They want to be well-versed in the biographies and thought of the Church’s “movers and shakers.”
They want a faith based on personal excellence. They want to coninue worshiping power, property, and prestige and to somehow graft that onto…the Cross? That’s a graft that does not and is not ever going to “take,” mainly because the people whose faith was based on personal excellence hounded, persecuted, and finally tortured Christ to death. His entire life, death, resurrection, and apostolate was about personal surrender, abandonment.
The Pharisees’ goal was to be “good,” correct. excellent. Christ’s goal was to come awake, in love.
Ironically, in coming awake we do become “excellent”–interesting, useful, alive–but in a way that’s mostly invisible to the eyes of the world. So it’s all very paradoxical and compelling.
On that note, I have embarked upon a very drastic, very extreme plan.
I have pledged to spend the better part of 3 days, over New Year’s, with 6-8 dear friends. In a cabin. In the woods.
I figure the worst that can happen–this is in fact very likely–is that I will have a nervous breakdown.
The best that can happen–Oh it will be a blast! I can’t wait. The fact is I can’t believe people would be willing to put up with me for that sustained a length of time.
Either way, I’ll get MANY STORIES out of it.
And I’m guaranteed to come way, WAY, more awake.