Monday, July 27, 2009

In which Sarah gets religious

I was listening to a very good sermon yesterday about the servant-hood of Christ as a reflection of his being fully God. And in this sermon, Pastor Josh used the Trinity as an example of God being God by serving. The Trinity (for those of you who did not grow up in Sunday School) is...difficult to explain. It's a way that Christians think of God, where he is three complete person-hoods (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) that together are one complete God (God). I'm not going to try to explain it because I don't fully understand it myself. But Pastor Josh was pointing out how each person of the Trinity serves or "submits" to the others. Jesus is always doing things because he knows they will please the Father, and the Holy Spirit is often described as submitting to both the Father and Son (Jesus).

So here's the thought that came to me: whom does the Father submit to? God the Father is indeed part of the Trinity, but I couldn't for the life of me think of a time when God the Father submits to the other two, at least not in the Bible. He is the head honcho, the source of everything, the creative will that started it all, and the final judge as to how it will all end. Whom would He put Himself under?

And here's the answering thought:
Us. God submits to us. Now before you start throwing things at your computer and deleting me from your 'friend' list, let me explain. According to the Bible, God created people with the ability and responsibility to decide what to do with themselves. In fact, a significant portion (if not all) of that blessed book concerns choices. God seems always to be commanding, warning, cajoling, encouraging, even begging people to choose one thing over another, and then responding to choices made. Now I know that there are times (like with the Pharaoh in Exodus) when it looks like God has rigged the system, but the overwhelming majority of the story of God the Father and his children (us) is one of paths presented, directions taken, relationships formed, trust given, trust broken, waywardness forgiven, love shared. Love can not exist without the ability to choose, and sacrificial love (like the love of Jesus on the cross) would just be stupid if it did not preserve this freedom of the beloved's. Inasmuch as God gives us this will to spend ourselves and our times as we see fit, he abides by our choices, and in abiding, he submits. To us.

Kind of a scary thought, isn't it? Cool, but scary.

Anyway, that's what occurred to me during the sermon at church yesterday. I hope I didn't make your head hurt.

Next time I shall try to come with a modest joke or something fun like that. Not that deep thoughts aren't fun, but it's the sort of fun one associates with climbing mountains--worthwhile, but not particularly comfortable.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Well, faithful followers, it is time for your monthly dose of Sarah.
To tell the truth, I have been putting off this post because most of my blogworthy thoughts occur at decidedly un-blogworthy know, like when I'm driving somewhere, or in the middle of church, or when I'm showering (see last month's post), or otherwise incapacitated (is that too strong a word?).

So anyway, I thought I'd just write what's floating around in my head right now because if I wait for inspiration to coincide with convenience we might as well just pack up and go home.

I'm going to be twenty-seven in a few weeks, an age that is significant because of its resounding insignificance. There's nothing new I get to do. My last milestone (25) is now more than a year gone, and there is now no use even pretending I'm anywhere close to being a kid anymore. My coming-of-age seems to have come already--my 'self' has been good and discovered--and I face my life with that same feeling of surreptitious and somewhat emberassing disappointment that one feels at 10 o'clock on Christmas morning when one's pile of gifts lies, naked and small, among shards of discarded wrapping paper. It's not that I'm ungrateful. Far from it! I have one of the sweetest deals ever: a freakin' awesome job, amazing family, marvelous friends, and an almost indecent amount of freedom and opportunity. I think I'm just feeling the loss of all the sheer possibility that I got so accustomed to growing up. We're always being told as kids that we can do anything, that someday the world will belong to us and who knows what we'll make of it or of ourselves. But hardly anyone talks about the fact that being one thing necessarily negates being everything else. It's not that I couldn't drop everything and join the circus, it's that I can't do that and continue teaching music at Conway. So now I've arrived at my future. I've unwrapped the gift, as it were, which like Schroedinger's cat, no longer exists in multiple states, but presents a single concrete reality. I really shouldn't whine. I could have unwrapped a dead cat.

So much for my birthday. Living is really quite complicated, you know? I hadn't really expected that. In other news, I have a new apartment. It is a beautiful place, a converted attic that combines the charming secrecy of my last place with the even greater charm of having windows I can look out of and an entire hallway to call my own. You know you've made it when you've got your own hallway! Also, I have begun to try my hand at growing things. (Wish me luck--you are reading the blog of someone who has killed a cactus). My wonderful downstairs neighbor brought me some pretty little flowers (they look like pansies, but they're not) and a great big pot full of carrots (which I shall be eating as soon as they're big enough--fun!). Soon I would like to add a small herb garden to my little balcony-at-the-top-of-the-world, and who knows what else.

Well the day, like me, is no longer young, and I have "miles to go before I sleep." So I shall sign off now.

Maybe I'll start carrying a notebook around so as to catch those mocking little blog-thoughts before they flutter away. Hmm...