Thursday, August 5, 2010

Living in the desert

I'm having a bad day.  I'd like to just begin by saying that.  I've pounded my keyboard, slammed down on the left click button of my mouse, and have generally ignored the world around me for the last hour.  I'm not sure what crawled up my hinder and died, but it's something.  I want to give you the context for this post--at least emotionally--before things get rolling.  You've all been warned.

I borrowed this picture from S-P's blog at  I found it the other day, and I found it both funny, satirical, and convicting all at the same time.  Since deciding to become catechumens, I've been giving a lot of thought to the direction of our lives.  Suddenly questions of "how long..." are coming to the forefront; whereas before I was more than contented to think in terms of years down the road--if at all.  I think I expected that something would come up (as my parents do now) that would prevent me from entering Orthodoxy.  Now, in some respects, I've already "come in".  I'm still waiting to be invited to come further into the house and eat at the table, but I'm in.  I've stopped sitting on the outside and peeping in like a spiritual voyeur.  I've now become a full-fledged catechumen.  I'm not sure what it means, but I know that it means I'm not just playing games anymore.

So I look over this to-do list, and I can honestly laugh at the irony presented by it.  I can giggle at the snark.  I can roll my eyes at "those ridiculous people" who think that by becoming Orthodox they become a lay monk--a monkabee.  When I give it a closer look, though, I realize how easily I fall into these types of things and I worry about keeping myself in balance between doing too little and not doing enough.

I've received no clear instruction on anything remotely touching on preparing for chrismation.  None.  We're not even fasting.  I'm not upset by this, but it is weird.  I think I expected our entrance into the catechumenate would come complete with welcome packet including instructions on when to meet with the priest, how many Jesus prayers to do, and instructions for setting up a home icon corner.  None of these things have happened.  This is ok.  We're moving.  Fr. C. will not be our priest for much longer.  Our preparations will be handled by another man.  I think if it weren't for the even keeled way that Fr. C. has handled our inquiry and our new catechumenate as prepared us for the long waits that await us.  A to-do list like the one above is nice, but let's be honest, it's absurd.  All of the important things are left undone, including denying yourself, picking up your cross, and following our Lord.

Denying myself is not something I do well.  (More on that later)  Right now I'm having trouble being humble enough to mend a growing rift between me and another member of my family.  It's so easy to be selfish.  It's so easy to be angry.  I don't want to take another step until I have figured out how to follow Christ by giving of myself and giving up on my self.

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