I’m working on building out my personal theology.
I told ya’ll that Candice Benbow rocked my world in that conversation that she had with Kevonstage but you didn’t really hear me apparently. <eyes> The way that she so lightly announced her personal theology was revolutionary. She CLEARLY has spent many hours/days/years clarifying it for herself and that confidence feels so appealing. To just know and be able to articulate in one sentence where the foundation of your faith sits is so sexy and I want it. So I’m going after it.
In the mornings before I start work, I try to read a devotional or some passage from the Bible or at least pray through my prayer list. Sometimes, I walk around and do everything BUT that which ultimately has the negative effect of starting my day with procrastination AND makes me waste hours I could be building my business. Also, I try to be honest with myself so I had to get real and look at the fact that I PHYSICALLY try to run away from God… like, DAILY. (Which is DUMB.) So I had to ask myself why and I’m realizing that so much of what I associate with Christianity and “walking with God” is based in fear and guilt. Um… gross.
On Monday, I was trying to face myself after making this realization and I was journaling about what my issues were… what were the things that kept me from wanting to wrestle with God to sort out what I really believe and why? Where did all the fear and guilt come from? Why was I holding onto it (by avoiding it)?
Jenna Wortham said something on the latest episode of Still Processing that I wrote down cause it hit me. “When you avoid something, that is a huge red flag that you need to pay attention to it…. That’s the work that ends up getting us somewhere different.” She was talking about facing ourselves in this racial reckoning moment (more on THAT another time!) but it made me think about my ridiculous morning ritual of avoiding myself and God.
- Nobody has time for that.
- I’M the red flag. Time to do the work.
And even THIS morning — just like 20 minutes ago — before I actually did do the work and then sat down to write this, I was like… “I’ll just pray today. I don’t feel like doing the personal theology thinking this morning.” But then I just glanced over at the questions I’d written for myself on Monday (that I said I’d work through this week) and started jotting down a few thoughts. A few thoughts turned into me answering ALL the questions and really getting somewhere. I think I understand the type of rhythms I’d like to propose that Lance and I build into our lives so that we’re continually connected to the source. I think I know more about how I want to think about God to sustain a positive mental association to my relationship with them. I think I feel MORE SURE that a life of faith really is a life for me and that reframing it away from guilt and fear is possible.
It’s amazing and ridiculous that my natural orientations lead me away from my own self-interests. It’s amazing and WONDERFUL that God, in small and intentional ways, pushes me back in the direction of understanding and growth. I’m grateful.
One thing I want to share from what I wrote in response to the questions that I framed for myself… mainly as a reminder for myself when my actions don’t line up with this aspiration. As I’m working on my personal theology, I wanted to ask myself how what I land on, will and won’t be visible in the way that I live. Here’s what I wrote:
What does it mean that I will do? Live a life with faith as my foundation… understanding that my existence has depth beyond the action in front of me.
What does it mean that I won’t do? Live frivolously… without regular reflection and reconnection.