Friday, April 07, 2006

How to find yourself...

Peterson inspired me to look up some of my old journals from when I was a church goer.

It was so strange looking back over the journal I wrote in the year coming up to the time when I actually left church. Some of them were so sad. Others were hilarious - my my, I do have an acerbic wit about me sometimes! There's a wonderful Saturday night entry were I pray, with sincere earnestness to be delivered from cynicism. However, Sunday's entry shows the Lord did not hear my cry!

"My distain for church grows every time I go...Today's sermon was particularly nauseating."

I loved this entry - it kind of sums up where I was at a few years ago:

"I wish I was nice, tidy, pretty and submissive. I wish I was a good Christian and knew how to say the right things and be the right way. But I don't...I feel guilty because I don't know how. I should try to make more of an effort, but I'm not sure there's anything left in me to even attempt it."

I can look back on it now and laugh - of course I don't want to be nice, tidy or submissive. God forbid I ever be submmissive!!! BLEURGH! I think stories of people becoming themselves resonate so strongly with all of us, because whether obvious or not, most of us struggle to simply be and simply accept ourselves.

However, I did stumble across a wonderful gem of wisdom in my old journal that I thought I would share...

"Do not run, but be quiet and silent. Listen attentively to your own struggle. The answer to your question is hidden in your own heart."
(Henri Nouwen)

10 comments:

Lorcan said...

Finding one's self as an American Quaker in these days...

I just call the FBI and ask them to tell me where I am...

sorry folks...

couldn't help it.

:D ... ?

lor

Contemplative Activist said...

LOL - good one ;)

Made me laugh!

Peterson Toscano said...

CA, you made me laugh out loud! Prayers for cynicism and then a nauseating sermon. Perhaps Satan was listening in on your prayers and set you up for a fall????

Lovely Nouwen quote. One I will sit with this week. Thank you!

Rach said...

I love this entry. :)

Rachxx

RobertB said...

Nauseating :-) You almost inspire me to start a good litte evangelical style sermon notebook with duly cynical twist. Thank God in heaven I don't (usually) go to church for the sermons.

postliberal said...

I'm very very suprised that someone hasn't produced an Adrian Mole-esc book, about a neurotic young church go-er, yet.

Contemplative Activist said...

Oh my PL....

Joint effort??

Lora said...

Lovely quote.

What's amazing is how long people struggle with and continue to go to church despite the ovbious frustrations they develop with the whole process.

Helen Louise said...

That was a wonderful entry :)

Mindy said...

I found your blog through a Quaker website and I can relate. I haven't been to church in about 10 years. I'm Presbyterian, but have felt something's missing for a long time now. I've recently started researching the Quaker way of life and much of it is what I already believe -- essentially to treat people with respect. I'm finding that, although I believe that Christianity is about love, more and more seem to think it's about hate.

Thanks for your blog. I'm going to be reading it while figuring out where I'm going spiritually. :)