Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Uncomfortable Game of Follow the Leader

A few days ago I put up a post that, if you had asked me a few months ago, I would have said I would never put up. I had been waking up in the middle of the night for a few days, which isn't all that odd for a woman in her fifties, but instead of laying there making grocery lists and imagining how I would rearrange my garden, I was having a running argument with God.

Now. If you don't believe in God, I get how you could think that is just crazy. But for just for a minute bear with me and imagine that if there really is an omniscient, omnipotent Being, it could indeed have an argument with some ordinary middle aged woman in an ordinary small city in Illinois as she lay next to her softly snoring husband.

The argument went something like this:

Me: "I don't want to say anything controversial on my blog! If I do what you're asking me to do, all my green blogging buddies, who I've become so attached to, will angrily delete me from their RSS feeds! Up to this point they think I'm just like them, except for the weird Christian thing, and we're having a great old time encouraging each other to change our lifestyles to live more responsibly for the good of the planet. I've kept my self out of the big controversies. If I just keep my mouth, er, keyboard shut, I can keep these relationships!"

Him: "Remember, it not about you."

Me: "Don't quote Rick Warren at me!"

Him: "Seek peace, and pursue it."

Me: "And don't quote the Bible......oh, wait, that's your own Word. Never mind. But this isn't going to lead to peace, it's just going to make a bunch of people really honked off! And besides, this blog is linked to the church's website, and I don't want to create some big whoo-haa that the pastors have to smooth over, and gets me in all kinds of hot water."

Him: "But what do I require of you, but that you act justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with Me?"

Me: (after a long silence) Well, fine then. But the results are on your head. I'm not taking any credit for this scheme!"

Him: "I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

So, I did the post.

And you know, the green blogging buddies were pretty nice about it. Confused, yes, but nice. We had a long conversation here, which was not always real comfortable but was always civil. Then the conversation moved over to another blog, and rambled off into some little rabbit trails about other issues, but it was still civil, and pretty enlightening, I think, for everyone involved.

And then, today, I finally got to see where God was going with this. One of those green blogging buddies put up a post that let me see, once again, a great truth: seeking and pursuing peace can start off very uncomfortably, and feel not at all peaceful, but if we really, sincerely want peace, really sincerely listen to each other and look for the important place of agreement, and let go of a lot of the lesser areas of disagreement, we can find peace with each other.

And as I read her post, I heard God say, "I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."


Bugs and Brooms said...

I haven't read Arduouses post yet but I will try to take a look at it. I have also been waking up in the middle of the night thinking about all of these things. We need to be united without compromising our opinions and beliefs. And I, like you, have been afraid to voice my opinion on my blog. I love these bloggers and they have taught me so much - I really don't want them to drop me off the planet just because we disagree on a few things. I still respect them and I hope they respect me.

Donna said...

Sorry you lost sleep over it -- you're so respectful that you'd be more likely to have someone in your congregation write you off as an eco-nut than lose your green readership!

Thanks for the link to Arduous's post. She's got a great idea there and I think I'm going to do it! Maybe enough of us can make a difference.

Joyce said...

Bugs-it's interesting that we both felt so intimidated about posting our true thoughts. I haven't felt that kind of peer pressure in years, but then, until I started blogging, my relationships were with folks I'd known and been friends with for years, so I guess I'm out of practice in fitting into a new group.

Donna-thanks for the encouragement! I think my church friends already have me pegged as an eco-nut, but you can imagine that in a church of 700 people, there could be someone who would be offended. By and large, though, they are a pretty accepting bunch.

Going Crunchy said...

O.k., well I'm going to have to follow the link and see the post!

Gotta love the dialogue in your head! Shannon