Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Me, myself, I, my family, my church, my life, my friends, compadres, my financial status, my dog (she keeps nipping at a festering wound on her hip)......are ALL due for some intentional, focused change. Or redirection. Rejuvenation, perhaps?

Now I know change occurs anyway and just because I notice the need to say the above does it mean it hasn't. One of THE MOST difficult changes for me to handle are the relational ones imposed upon me.....the ones outside of my control. And what am I really in control of?

If the grotesque, feral, hairy bitch of divorce marked its territory on the watering hydrant of my childhood, it was surely the one of relational vulnerability. And it doesn't leave me alone with my woundedness there, being in a college town, having the calling we have, with upward mobilopathy running rampant and the general socio-economic-relational transience leading us along.

I wax this way in the face of impending changes on our own relational front. In short time, we will have people moving on to one thing or another, almost coinciding in season. This is the life we have settled into and the one through which we will trudge. Seems to be a good time to take account.

We are no exceptional case wherein people come and go, whether for pronounced reasons or ones more elusive. It's the abrupt removal of oneself from one's place/people (or,relational ground of being) to the nebulous diffusion of undefined hope for continuation. Selective Relatectomies, I like to call them. Now you see 'em, now you don't. Causes are legion, I suppose, as are the justifications. Economic needs. Social needs. Emotional needs. Educational needs. Entertainment needs. Novelty needs. Stimulatory needs. Escapist needs. Avoidance needs. Needs we don't know we have. Needs we know we should not have.

These are the surprise, "I'm outta here's" and even the anticipated moves of people you've grown really, really close to over several years' time. It's these with the most time capital invested that ache the most. I pine with the noted philosopher Bruce Hornsby in saying, "that's just the way it is."

Is there anybody? Are we just damned to illusion? Has God forsaken this geographic locale, causing us to seek greater, better, over and away? When is our sense of Godforsakenness our own stuff to own and not the Oxford city council's...not Miami President James Garland.....not the crappy lot we have dealt and feel doomed to here? Are we to consigned to ask too, "Will you also go away?"

But we're here. We are seeking to create PLACE for wanderers to find their people and to carry seed if they have to move on. But we need fellow homesteaders in our staked plot here. And we are ever surrounded by wanderers. There is an abundance of Christian wanderers, but often these are weighted down by issues of self-absorbency or shackled by the parroted Christian faddism that easily besets campus Christian expressions, maybe even us included (this is not judgmentalism, just an observation). Most of these tire of the likes of us and move on. That's okay though.

I know it seems like I'm wont to put these issues on the post as my favorite whuppin' boy, so I don't really know if your heart hears me on this or not. It's no big thing if you don't. I'll be alright and maybe even God will transform me into something better and more productive than my current self as a result.

I know that deep, relational investments with those who will let me/us in are worthwhile for whatever duration I/we are blessed with. But for me and my fleshly house, I am thinking there is another investment I have branded as "outlaw" and that is increasingly the one with myself and me with God.

I need revolution. I need upending. I need castigation for the subtle syncretizing of self and comfort. I need to step up in an atmospheric kind of way. My 6 year old nephew got these jumpy, little "Moon Boots" for Christmas that go on your feet. Maybe I'll start there.