Tuesday, March 27, 2007

When You Walk In a Different Lane

It used to bother me that I appear to be walking on a different track than everybody I know in the Real World. The slow, out-of-it, what-planet-are-you-from? track--that's where I've strolled all my life.

I run into friends and acquaintances downtown and they'll list for me the books they're reading. You know, ones with titles like, "Understanding God From A-Z," or, "How To Pray in 250 Easy Steps," or, "Becoming the Ultra-Spiritual Person You've Always Longed To Be." (Okay, okay. I'm exaggerating. But just a little.)

Yet, usually I'm in the middle of books like, Rosamond du Jardin's, "Boy Trouble," or Betty MacDonald's, "Onions In The Stew," or Peter Mayle's, "Toujours Provence." So I switch the subject fast before being asked what I'm reading. I'm no fool. I know those kinds of books will bring only blank stares (Rosamond who?) or pity glances.

So then the other person describes the complete sets of teaching tapes they bought from three different Christian teachers (all names unknown to me) and the stuff, in detail, they're learning, while I stand there wondering if I should mention my current favorite teacher is still the one I began listening to 13 years ago. But knowing better, I switch subjects again.

We move onto how he/she is so excited because their children are all missionaries now and their church is growing out of its building and saving the world and holding meetings every night of the week.

And when they pause for a breath, that's when I say, "I have a blog." Usually, that kills the conversation.

Heh. I'm usually ready to go home anyway.

But you know? Anymore, I just don't care. Oh, I'm happy for those who lead exciting lives, but I no longer mind feeling awkward explaining what God does through me--or feeling that I should just keep quiet about it. Because what comes to me is that most of my average days aren't average at all. I'm happier and more at peace than I ever was during the years I tried to keep-up with everybody--those years when being a Christian felt like one endless, competitive race.

My days now, I just try to obey God and go where He leads me, even if that means I stay home a lot and send my messages to the world from a desk, either from a keyboard or a pen on little slips of paper in colored envelopes.

If that's what God has for me, then there is nothing greater or more noble that I could be doing. I could try a bunch of forced stuff to make myself feel more needed and useful, but I'd just be spinning my wheels, wasting energy and God's time. There is nothing greater, for me, than simple, everyday obedience to this lover of my soul.

And there's nothing more fulfilling, fun and joyful, either, even when it appears to others that I'm running the track alone.

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