Thursday, August 22, 2013

Life in the Mountains

If this is your first time visiting this blog, welcome and thank you for stopping by!

I highly recommend at least reading my introductory first post and my About Me section before reading anything else. Even though I write about theological and philosophical topics, this is first and foremost a blog about my journey to Eastern Orthodoxy. I am not here to debate. I am not here to further develop doctrine or theology that the Church has already ruled on. The Orthodox Church has given only three men the title Theologian (and there has been many great minds in the Church), which means, I for one am not one of them, neither are you. So, we should all humbly and graciously admit we are merely students and sojourners and learn from one another.

Previously I mentioned that in the summer of 2005, I moved with my family to the north Georgia mountains. It was a very lonely time for us. The first six months were the most difficult.  I was learning a great deal about history and theology. As I was studying the differences between modernism and postmodernism and what Christianity was struggling with in an ever-changing context, I was simultaneously growing in my faith. I was someone who wrote people off rather quickly, people annoyed the crap out of me. Even though I had some very close friends and, for some reason, people loved me, people just got under my skin.

I really was an introvert.

So, as my father was planting a church, I was having to learn to love people--as Christ loved them. This is a very arduous task, especially when it's people that you wouldn't exactly "hang out with". People do not conform to me. People do not conform to you. That's just the way it is. My first few months in Georgia, I pretty much locked myself in my room and read. Learning why our culture is the way it is, helped me to better understand why people think and act the way they do. I began to see the hurts, struggles, and aspirations of others.

Narrative. Story helped me see the largeness of life, the cosmic. And at the same time, that everyone has a story. This story is both unique and not: it is the why-they-are-the-way-they-are. When I started studying more I saw little need for novels and poetry, seemed like a waste of time when there was things I need to learn! But thanks to Donald Miller, Brian McLaren, and Eugene Peterson, I began to see the significance for cultivating a narrative worldview.

Understanding the why of culture and the why of persons, I began to get a clearer picture.

But there was something holding me back. It was my inability to truly let go of past hurts. I felt betrayed by the leadership of our old church. I was bitter. Once I thought I forgave and moved on, something popped up and I would immediately become enraged. I had a why-I'm-the-way-I am, too. Until we all recognize our own brokenness, we will never be able to accept and love others in their brokenness.

Until I could truly forgive...I wouldn't heal.

It took a few years for me to truly let go and move on.

I encourage you to sit and think and pray. Come to grips with your brokenness. When you do you'll be able to see that "unforgivable" person as someone just like you.

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