Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Joyful Knocking

Audra and I stayed up late last night talking about the last five or so years since we first started dating...in that time there's been a lot of changes in our lives theologically, and each of our respective changes have been quite different from the other's.

One of hers that she mentioned was being lazy, allowing the "I don't want to" attitude to get in the way of doing morning prayers, the reasons being everything from "I didn't really totally choose this for myself to begin with" (I was the one who introduced her to the faith initially), or "I don't feel like God hears/is answering"...yet she said two things that really resonated with me:

1) "No one's making me be Orthodox." -- True, she can't ever say that she chose this faith via an objective decision, unhindered by any other relationship with any other person, but she's stayed with it, continued to choose it for four and a half years now. Kind of takes the "I didn't choose to submit to this" aspect out of it.

2) "I'm just going to keep knocking on God's door, until even the knocking itself becomes a joy." Even if God never answers, she said, the daily and yearly cycles of prayer are themselves to be a joy, simply because of He who is on the other side of that door. (She wanted me to say that that second quote might be from something she read in one of Metr. Anthony Bloom's books, but she's not sure. Regardless, it's deep).


Mimi said...

It is indeed.

That's something I've always loved about Orthodoxy and something that attracted me originally was the idea that Orthodoxy accepts that you don't vault out of bed every morning on fire for God, that you have those ups and downs, that you walk through deserts and through verdant valleys, and that the walking is the endeavor that brings you closer to God.

Audra is a lucky woman, indeed.

Photini said...

Amen and AMEN, Mimi. I *love* how you put that.

Okay, I'm not as smart as all you guys, but lemmee tell ya this: I have many Protestant Evangelical friends who have "perfect" faith, "perfect" lives, "perfect" experiences with God. Ya know what? I *wish* I did!!! *I* need Christ every second of every minute of every hour of every day. I *hated* the constant pressure to play-the-game in Evangelicalism. I just can't fake it without wanting to barf. Orthodoxy, however, allows me to admit I need Him, and provides a means for me to cling to the hem of His garment, 24/7.

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner." Amen.

David Bryan said...

Thanks, you two. I know I'm blessed beyond belief as well, both due to her and the little stinker in the post right above this one...

I think the "all happy, all the time" branch of evangelicalism is mostly just a part of the charismatic, non-denom part of it; the more classical branches of Protestantism (Reformed, Anabaptist offshoots, Anglican offshoots) are largely familiar with the need to suffer and persevere in those times of suffering.

Some of them even teach that it is in that perseverence that we work out our souls' salvation.

s-p said...

At the end of her life, St. Therese of Liseaux who spent her entire life in spiritual despair yet remained faithful, asked God why He "treated her like that"? God said, "Because I am your friend." She replied, "No wonder You have so few." I think it was St. John Chrysostom who said that when God decides we need to stop being babies, He "removes the breast", so that we will fall in love with HIM and not "our experiences of Him"... BIG difference.