I've never been a morning person, you know the kind that open their eyes and are immediately awake and ready to face the day? I'm not exactly a night owl either. Just let me sleep and no one gets hurt. This morning I was up at 2:30 AM my time and it's now just about 5 PM. If I last until suppertime before sliding between the sheets I'll be surprised.
The energizer bunny was all happy to see me and to show me two piles of doggy puke for me to clean up. Welcome home baby, welcome home. She even tried to kiss me, which is not allowed at the best of times, let alone after she's been sick. She's sitting on my lap as I type - tucked between my belly and the keyboard. Good thing I have long arms. She is sweet and I missed her. Her continued attempts to kiss me tell me she missed me, too.
On the plane I sat beside a young man who works for one of Canada's Christian Universities, not that Christian is an adjective, which I pointed out to him. Not sure what he thought of my peppering him with questions about the emerging church and Shane Claiborne and Donald Miller. One of the interesting things we talked about was his observation that the Church is not teaching kids how to think; what to think, but not how to think. If I had to choose between the two I'd take how to think any day, wouldn't you? One of my laments about home schooling is that for many years it was portrayed and I bought it hook, line and sinker that if I only taught my kids what to think then it would be a guarantee they would not only choose a certain path but walk it forever more.
Real life delivered something else entirely.
And better in the long run.
I've had and continue to have my own journey when it comes to learning how to think. I told him that I thought the Church was a great breeding ground for dysfunction. When he asked me to explain I shared with him how coming from a family where if one kept all the rules, spoken and unspoken, one was less likely to be in the line of fire. How that pattern dovetailed quite nicely into church life where there were all these unspoken rules one kept in order to fit in. Like always being "fine" and thinking Christian equalled never having problems. Or at least not ones you talked about.
Gee, I think I was a bit cynical today. Hmmm. Although I didn't say any of that sarcastically, or in a gee, I have it all figured out now, how could I have been so dumb before kind of way either. I believe in embracing the whole journey, for as Anthony DeMello is so fond of pointing out - that which we renounce violently we are forever bound to. I said the whole dysfunction spiel matter of factly. That doesn't come across when one types it without being able to type inflection as well. You'll just have to take my word for it.
Boy, typing all this is waking me up. Not sure that's a good thing. It's like I'm getting my second wind. Bear with me. The friend who came with me to Owen's told him I was nothing if not truthful. She forgot to say I was also still opionated as all get out. A few times the young man beside me in the plane picked up a magazine, picked up anything, to read. Then I told myself to shut up until he talked to me again. Which he did. Several times. Just before we landed he gave me a business card so perhaps my viewpoints weren't all that hard to listen to. Going through all that made me realize anew just how far I have to go when it comes to listening and being present and how much easier it is to chatter away, especially when I have a captive audience. I sat there in the quiet moments wondering what he would blog about our conversation. If he had a blog, which he doesn't. We talked about those as well and how the blogosphere is impacting the Church.
Anyhoo I am home and it feels good. I wonder if I will ever get over the marvel of plane travel and how it can be that I woke up half way across the country this morning and tonight I'll sleep in my own bed. I kept looking down at the fields and lakes below me all the way across this country and reminding myself what a privilege it is to travel. I also realized for the first time how one particular viewpoint I've had of God has changed. I was peering down at the ground 40,000 feet below me and thinking how small everything looked. I thought about what specks we are in relation to the universe. Then it came alive to me that truly God's spirit lives within us so it's no longer a God way up there looking way down here at little old me and you. It's God's spirit, moving amongst us, within us, growing and expanding with every breath.
I'll be quiet now and let you have a chance to talk.