Sunday, March 18, 2007

It's funny I'm ordained

I'm going to try something new. If you look on the right side of the screen, you should see my workouts. There's this great new site I found (from another runner's blog) where I can upload my workouts and they'll show up automatically here. Hopefully in the next week, everything will be up there for your viewing pleasure and I'll stop entering them in manually in the blog entries. Since I haven't got it all set up yet, here's this week:

Mon:    Run     3.01mi  27:34   Yoga    30min
Tue:    Run     5.06mi  46.23   Yoga    60min
Wed:    Run     6.52mi  58:12   Yoga    50min
Thu:    Run     5.04mi  44:28   Yoga    50min
Fri:    Run     3.82mi  33:47   Yoga    50min
Sat:    Cycle   8.59mi  42:54   Yoga    50min
Sun:    Run     10:10mi 1:39:14 Cycle   8.7mi   45:47

So, I thought I'd reveal that it's funny, to me at least, that I'm ordained, particularly in the Episcopal Church. I think it's pretty funny that I'm part of an established church at all. Just one of the many ways God amazes me.

I say this because my own spiritual life happens 99.9% outside of church. The three things I do/have done that are the most "spiritual" for me personally are:

        - shamanic work I've been deeply involved in for the past 16 or so years which is where I've had the most intense, direct encounters with God. If I have a theology, it has come out of these experiences far more than reading anything. Experience is the foundation of my faith and I consider a blessing that I am a mystic. It does seem to be more acceptable to mention this in polite Episcopal company, but that may only be because I am from California <g>.

        - listening to Christian pop music, which really expresses my experience of wrestling with God and trying to be a Christian in the real world far more authentically than any of the hymns in the hymnal. I'd say my favorite artists are Chris Rice, Jennifer Knapp, Ginny Owens and Caedmon's Call.

        This chorus from Caedmon's Call's "Faith My Eyes" (on the 40 Acres album) spoke to me today:
                So Keep'em Coming These Lines On The Road
                And Keep Me Responsible, Be It A Light Or Heavy Load
                And Keep Me Guessing With These Blessings In Disguise
                And I'll Walk With Grace My Feet And Faith My Eyes
        And even though I come from California which is a pretty "woo woo" kind of place, believe me when I tell you, the Episcopal Church does NOT play music like this. At least not yet. They did do one "U2charist" last year, but that just makes me laugh and roll my eyes. I'm sorry folks, but U2 is not "youth" music -- that's my generation and I just turned 45. Though, from what I heard, the event was a great multi-generational event, so it's definitely a step in the right direction;

        - yoga and running which really push and help me to integrate, to embody, what I experience and believe spiritually. Augustine may have had problems with having a body, but I don't, and it's a critical part of my being in the world and relating to the universe. If it was important for Jesus to incarnate in a physical body, I figure it's probably at least as important for me.

Now, there are a lot of things I love about the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion in general (that there is an Anglican Communion being one of them) and I feel relatively comfortable with Christianity as the "language" through which I communicate with and about God. There's not another Christian Church that speaks to me. If I weren't Christian, I'd probably be either Sufi or Hindu. I've studied a lot of other religions and those are the only other two that resonate with me.

But when I was an infant, I was baptized and "sealed by the Holy Spirit. . . and marked as Christ's own forever" and wouldn't you know those sacraments actually create a reality in the universe. I walked away from Christ. Pretty far away, actually. And then I was called back and I couldn't get away. I feel a bit like a fish who was reeled in by the fisherman. I suppose that's fitting.

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