Saturday, October 13, 2007

Kairos spelled out


Each Thursday morning I am handed at least one new sheet of paper, after the sixth week, I see it for what it is, Kairos-- God's time. This week's says Preparation Days/6. Thinking I was on a set prescription, I ask, "How many weeks does this take?" Shouldn't this be clear. Can't my spiritual director look at a human made calendar and say, we will be done on Thursday, month, date, hour, minute, second? Or even in a less specific way, can't the man say how many sheets of paper he plans to give me (I think I need a binder.)

He acts as if there is no set number of weeks. I know this already, because as my director he is free to repeat or skip exercises depending on where he, with God's help, senses I need to go. So he tells me with a lack of certainty that we will end most likely late next spring. This man has earned many points along the way. Early on it is was his story of how he stumbled into being an Episcopalian while attending a Presbyterian college, which happened to be a college that kindly asked me to pack my bags and get out after three semesters.

This week it was his knowledge of the Bible, which helped with some passages I had struggled with during day 5, which for now matches up with week 5. For example, Ephesians 2:1-10. Yes, I can see myself as spiritually dead when I was failing out of my first college, but I can't feel it in the same black and white way as the passage describes. My director points out what seems obvious now. I was baptised, raised in a community, then wondered away, then came back and felt a re-birth. But was I correct in doubting if I had been completely dead. I probably wasn't. Am I fully alive now in a time where we speak of spiritual journeys? Probably not. But for the Ephesians who received that letter, they were not adults who had wandered off, they were folk newly baptised into a new life.

As I write this, it makes me think of how I see being born again differently than others who are alive today. I see it as a process that can occur at any moment, God's time of creating us new. Each moment is a chance to shed something that keeps me from living fully with myself, others, and God -- the three things we are called to love. Others see it as the moment they entered into communion with Christ. I always thought that "they" must have it wrong, but now I sense how powerful that must have been to be truly born again as an adult into a relationship with God. Not understanding others is an example of what needs to die in myself. It is as if I am deadheading so more flower buds can form.

I think of those raised to parents who have had a life changing event in accepting Christ. I hear that that the pressure can be great to feel the same joy. But how can one feel that joy of being born again, if they have not experienced the lack of it?

If it happened to me as an adult in a big way, I am nearly at my tenth anniversary. We had just moved to Lansdale and M said she wanted to find a church. I said, "Why not?" Now, I am glad I didn't have an answer to that question. Those two words came from someplace new inside of me and shocked her. I would say that a celebration is in order. My anniversary of stepping into a church--- the first Sunday of Advent.

2 comments:

  1. We get into the semantics of it all, Wayne. I believe, via John, Chapter Three, Titus 3:5, and a host of other verses that being "born again" equates to a re-entrance of the Holy Spirit; and, indeed, why Jesus is referred to in the New Testament as the "2nd Adam". What's more I find it to be a one-time experience, but not to be the finality of our salvation, man being, as you say, "Saved" again and again on a daily basis. It "works for me" in accordance with what I read in Scripture. Must I demand such view of all others? Personally, I'm satisfied to allow God and you and whomsoever work out their own details, as long as the heart in question is siuncerely seeking Him.....

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  2. Jim-- love your last sentence, being sincere in the search....

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