Ms Do/Be

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Ahhh, perhaps I just think too much. But when I consider rejoining Christian circles again, so many things come up on the inside, you know? They flare up and they scare me. I guess what it comes down to, the crux, is the do/be distinction. And I do want to be a good DoBee, buzz buzz. Just not all day long.

But it's the do/be distinction that scares me, and because of my own issews and past history and weird shyness/extroversion thang, and a desire to be pleasing to people and not piss them off, and how the past 10 years have panned out for me, I don't have a shiny spiritual CV to take in with me, held out before me like an offering. Can I join your gang, without a shiny spiritual CV? Actually, that wouldn't be the gang I would be joining anyway. I don't even want one of those sorts of CVs; I've at least worked that out.

I guess if there was any club CV I would want to possess, I imagine it would be the grungy emergent sort of CV. But - no. I don't belong there either. I don't like labels. I don't like to call myself an emergent, although perhaps this is the closest tribe that I could sidle up to. Apparently it is an emergent thing to not like labels. That therefore could be taken to mean that I'm emergent simply because I might sort of look like one and I discount the label, but that's something I could maybe dismantle quite easily just from the completion of a couple of first year philosophy 101 classes. And yet, I digress :)

So I don't have a grungy gritty spiritual CV, at least not one that is externally observable. I don't have anything. I don't have a "ministry" and I hate that word. I despise that whole boxing up of gifts that ebb and flow tidally into a commodity. All I do is I pray, I intercede; sometimes I let my heart go out to people who might need it for a hug. I want to 'be' more than I want to 'do' and I want to 'be with' more than I want to 'do to'. Of course, that feels like I am right in the centre of everything when I see that this is what drives me. And yet, so often fear rises up that I am wasting my life. And how often it rises up living in a culture that is all about 'doing' and externalities and shudderingly finds itself with contents who have no idea about how to 'be'.

And I guess this is what scares me. From living within that culture, I am desiring to enter back into a sub-culture which, last time I looked, was pretty much about 'do', as far as I could glean anyway with the super sensitive radar I got to hone as a kid. And though the desire is for me to do, and to do within a group of people who are also doing, the real scary question is, do I get to 'be' first?

I think I really don't believe that I will ever find anywhere spiritual that feels like home. This belief does not mean it's true, of course. It's just that, the tag 'Christians' carries so much baggage with it, and every little bit of shame that still resides in me (still, dammit, STILL!!!!) springs to attention like something on Viagra when I consider a return to a people who, when I am being really honest, I don't trust. Not even if they're not shiny.

And yet, maybe that's a good place to be, at least in the admission. After all, you can still be friends with someone you don't trust in certain areas. Maybe it's sort of along the same sort of line, the way Nate and Erin were surmising in the comments on her latest post, that you can love the church without liking the church. With boundaries, of course.

Aggggggh. A crack of thunder just sounded overhead while I tidied up the ends of this post. Brings me back to the centre again, to an untamed God who is rather ... well, big, I guess. Big enough to keep working this stuff out in me, I guess. Big enough, thank God, than my fluttering, worrying mind.


  1. [Resists temptation to comment "Doo bee doo bee doo..."]

    The is great stuff, Sue. If I had to guess, I'd say you had a really truly genuine calling (NB I didn't say "ministry"!) to the life of prayer. What you've just laid out looks like a pretty bona fide (but not shiny in the least) CV for that to me, anyway.

    But you have to trust God, as you have yourself concluded. But, scary as it may be, that just may at some time entail trusting him to look after you if you do decide to trust some unshiny collection of sheepies somewhere down the line.

    You have my (literal) sympathy, by the way. I don't do shiny. Most Franciscans are pretty matt, anyway, going on hairy...

  2. I must chime in with Mike. Relax and let go. Resolve to listen to where God may be calling you. And follow, when the message is clear to you. We can set up our own busywork "ministries", but they may not be where God sees us contributing best.

    As Mike said, you have to trust this God you know loves you in your less than shiny CV.

    BTW, I have a friend who is a Franciscan friar and, it is true, he does not do shiny.

  3. I think you clearly know who you are and where you stand, and that's so important. Many of us are too busy do-do-doing to stop and think.

    The realisation that no group of people, no matter how aligned they are with our beliefs and way of life, can offer us a true spiritual home is an important one, and a liberating one at that. I've struggled with this when I occasionally look into communities in my area I might join, this expectation that they are the be all and end all and solution to all my gripes! Why am I so afraid of the gripes I ask myself?

    Also: doing can be quantified and molded into statistics, being is a lot less tangible and therefore scary to realists.

  4. What the heck is CV? I must be tired this morning because I have no clue.

    I get the issew, thow. I think my problem is someone telling me I have to "do" in a certain way. I don't mind "doing", I just don't want there to be mandated "doing".

    So for now I'll just BE all by myself!

  5. Mike - thank you so much for your words, they have given me great pause for thought.

    You're right about trusting God. I really don't, in quite a few areas. I am also blessed that I have very little resistance to telling him so. He's quite big enough to take it, which is lovely :) Matt, hairy Franciscans, huh? Cool!

    Barbara - thank you. I've been working myself up into a bit of a tizz about it all. Sigh. I guess what is annoying to me is why is God taking so long calling me anywhere - I guess that's where the temptation to stop trusting comes in. Sometimes I feel like he's shoved me up behind a rock cleft and forgotten, haha :) And yet at the same time I knwo that is not the truth at all.

    Fiona - thank you. All of the comments here have been particularly edifying. I agree, I think that putting all your spiritual eggs in one basket and expecting a people to be everything to you ... well, it's setting yourself up for control freaks for a start, and secondly I'm just not comfortable in any fashion with that. How could I get from others what I need to get from God? But still ... how nice to find some people where you can be yourself with, without them being all tossbaggy about stuff! May we both find what we are looking for.

    Erin - curriculum vitae, as in resume. You know, like what you take to your job interview. Yes, I have that problem too I guess partly because I grew up in a household where I was told how to do without getting much of a sense that I could do it in my own fashion - doesn't sit well with a kid who came out of the womb wilfully independent :) I hope you also find what you are looking for and desire, when the time is right. I think part of this journey is learning that we are loved even if we never ever find ourselves back meeting together, as those who attend religious-mindset-type-places are so willing to shove at us that we are giving up doing, as per Hebrews. Ahhh, shut yer traps and walk your own walk before you comment on other people's :)

  6. Ok I get it. I just had never heard it called CV...


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