I wasn't planning on writing anything like this any time soon. I had expected that years from now, when my parents were too old to care, my wife and I would finally decide to make the slow, arduous journey towards the Orthodox church. That's not the case, as it turns out. In light of recent, painful, but not unexpected events we've been asked to take a hard look at our lives as a young family and decide: are we where God wants us to be?
When faced with that question for the first time (really for either of us in the past two years of our marriage) the answer was a resounding "we don't know." That was a little disconcerting. I think we assumed that we would continue in our little wayward path for as long as we could until something came along to shake us up a little bit. As it turns out, something did, and now we're asking the question for which we don't really have a good answer. It seems that in the realm of Important Questions, "we don't know" is a bad answer. When in the realm of important life-altering, theological questions about the very nature of the Church, Salvation, and family unity "we don't know" is a safe answer. Safe is, apparently, not the road we're going to walk; because our road is pointed directly into the miry clay of an Eastern Orthodox Year, trying to decide if we'll ever make the full switch.
I say "miry clay" not as pejorative statement, but as an honest look at the coming year. It's not going to be easy, it's not going to be very fun most of the time, and it's going to be really frustrating before it gets any easier--if it ever gets any easier. We have a lot to consider in all of this. There's a whole new epistemology to consider. There's a new ecclesiology to come to grips with. There's a new heirarchy. There's a whole new lifestyle that neither of us is really sure we're prepared to step into. But into it we step, eyes as open as they can be and with faith like a mustard seed.
We don't have much of a road map. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, really. But here's the general idea: spend a year, completely involved in parish life, and at the end of that year, decide if we're going to become catechumens and join the Church. So there it is, in brief. Let's see how this all progresses.