Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter - A Year Ago

One of the reasons I'm grateful for this blog is the ability to look back and remember what I was thinking and feeling a year ago. In answering a question yesterday of someone who was wondering how they felt about not being in a "church" this morning, I went back to my blog to see what I thought last year. It was good to see that I still agreed with myself a year later :)

For those of you who are new readers or maybe just now walking out of the setting your grew up in - here is my post from last year.

Easter 2008

I’m not in “Church” this Easter Sunday morning.

First time ever in my whole life. Since birth. Since conception.

I started my life in my mother’s arms in the service. I graduated into the nursery for the next few Easters. Then into the services. Sometimes three in one day. Sunrise service, Morning Services and Services at night.

I glued the stone onto the Sunday school paper, colored in the angel at the door, play acted the whole scene numerous times and sang with the children’s choir in the big service.

I graduated to singing in the choir for Easter Cantatas, and special music. Husband was in a “Last Supper” reenactment and acted as the lead, Peter in “The Witness” by Barry McGuire while I was in the chorus. We went on from there to putting on our own very small services in our new church plant in Michigan. Then 20 years here where Easter services were downplayed as silly and almost pagan in nature - but we were in "church".

So this morning, for the first time, out of an institutional church setting, I am wondering, really, what the day of Easter means to me and this has been truly refreshing.

The question of the morning for me has been, “How does the resurrection of Jesus affect me this morning?”

And in the answer to that question comes a depth of the most incredible peace and contentment that I have ever felt.

He did it. He did it to completely eradicate the need for me to do anything more than return his love for me. He did it to free me to be able to love others. He did it to show me that He was who he said he was. He did it to reconcile me to the Father who longed for a relationship with me. He did it to abolish the rules of religion. All of them.

And for that, on this first Easter day where Church Lady is not in a chair or a pew, I am so grateful. I am at peace.

I think if I am ever involved in an institutional setting again of believers that I will refuse to go to a meeting on Easter - Just to remind myself that He did it all. I can be at peace and full of gratefulness on this day where everyone else feels the need to do the “right” thing by going to see God at his house. I don’t need to.

Especially today of all days.

Happy Easter Everyone. He is Risen….I am free.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Disciplined Life

I read this today in "The Inner Voice of Love" by Henri J. M. Nouwen. He says,

"To live a disciplined life is to live in such a way that you want only to be where God is with you."

I recoil when I hear the words "disciplined life." But in reading the rest of the sentence I thought to myself, "How utterly beautiful."

Discipline was always followed by the word "should" and never the word "want."
Discipline was always devoid of relationship.
Discipline was always about ME.
Discipline was like riding a roller coaster....there were up's and down's but eventually I always ended back where I started.
Discipline always lead to placing myself on a win - loss line.
Discipline always welcomed the inevitable comparisons to others.
Discipline or the lack of it always gave fodder for how I felt about myself that day.

So today as I reflect on the idea that it could be simply wanting to be where God is today in my life I realize that the concept of discipline can be totally revamped into something of simple beauty.

This discipline - as described in the above sentence is about want - not should
It is all about relationship.
It is all about Him.
It may actually take me somewhere - at least where He is going.
It destroys the win-loss line.
It compares itself to no one - not even myself.
It allows me to bask in how He feels about me today instead of how I feel about myself or how others may feel about me. rest.