Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action: My Stage.

Once again I am back to the blogsphere. I know these long hiatuses need to stop, but no promises readers.

I was home in Elizabeth City for the holidays and it was really great to see family and friends. However, things were much different than any other Christmas. So many of my friends are different and the dynamics of my family are changing. While there are so many things to give thanks for, as a human I cant help but grieve the loss of the things I hold familiar.

Before heading back to the warmest winter I've ever known, I stopped off at the Montreat College Conference in Montreat, NC.

This years conference was outstanding. The theme was "Wondering Wanders," and even though I am no longer in college I can relate to that. It is hard to admit that I am still finding myself, and searching for a calling. I often feel frustrated and upset with myself that I am not where my peers are or that I'm not where my older sister was at 24. Focus is always something I've struggled with. The keynote speaker at this conference Brian McLaren (keynote speaker) taught us about the four Stages of Faith. The four stages being: Simplicity, Complexity, Perplexity, and Humility/Harmony.

Learning about these stages in terms of not only faith, but life in general, have helped me reassure myself that while time is often short and the demands of society are loud, the deep resounding call of a higher power is also urgent. I must let the quiet voice within lead me, and know that whether I am making lots of money or none at all there is a force moving me in the right direction.

I recently listened to a story on This American Life (nerd alert), about a man who continually pursued a woman for years, who he met in Thailand and had fallen in love with. He didn't keep his family informed because, he knew they would just deter him or belittle him. After several years of keeping up this long distance relationship the woman finally agreed to marry him. They are now together in the U.S. and very happy. His brother commented that everyone in the family thought that he (the man) was just moving at a turtles pace with all his siblings racing around him in their careers and through marriages, but he actually knew where he was going all along.

We live in a society that constantly asks "What's next?" but rarely do we contemplate the answer to that question. We race to next task, or place, dying to accomplish everything and attain everything that everyone else seems to posses. But, for those who take the time to reach a goal or those who follow their heart without letting demands around them shake their passion the rewards can be true happiness.

As a group we are beginning the stage of vocational discernment, and I feel strongly that I will be able to find some conclusions through this process. I look forward to listening, questioning, and sitting with the unknown to find my pace in this ridiculous race we are running.

SIDE NOTE: If I peaked your interest he explains them and more in his companion books Finding Faith: A Search For What Makes Sense, and Finding Faith: A Search For What's Real. I don't want to over sell these books, but they are currently helping me weed through a lot of my personal questions about my own relationship with God.


Hence my Diatribe...