So, I had coffee with a new friend this morning, and we talked about organizing and we talked about discipleship. One of the topics we touched on before we had to go our separate ways was my "approach", if you will.
Something I have known for a few years, but probably not spent enough self-examination on, is my "approach". If you know me, you know what I am driving at. If you don't know me well, yet, then what I mean to say is this: I am a very passionate person who tends to sit and wrestle with issues for a long time. It's tough for me to act on an issue until I've thought it through, and usually my convictions run deep and overlap into different facets of my life.
For example: If you read my last post, you saw how confused I am working for a company like 10,000 Villages, which in most of our minds, is clearly a good company to work for. They're Fair Trade, they pay well, they offer good health insurance benefits, etc etc. How could I be conflicted working there?
The fact is that I've bought into some fairly radical (maybe even crazy) theology and social theory, and if you get to know me, it will come out. If it comes out before you know me, it might scare you away. It might even scare you away once you get to know me! Part of that means that I don't want to settle for anything less than holistic, thorough life change and reorientation, and I often forget the small steps that we each take on our journey make up the whole. In 2004, it was a big step of faith for me to say "God, I want to be on your side and be used by you". That led me to reading my Bible on a regular basis, praying, and eventually attending Eastern University.
At Eastern, the small steps took on new dimensions. They entailed rethinking my spending habits, where I spent my time (I went from watching movies and blogging about them constantly to hanging out with homeless folks), and the environmental impacts of my lifestyle. As I look back on the past 4 years of my life, I take those commitments for granted and often forget that my friends have had different sets of life experiences, and I am quick to judge them, slow to seek them out and listen to their stories.
So, now I am in Boston, and I've only been here for 6 weeks. I have a chance to start fresh. I have a chance to ask questions first, to speak more slowly, and to express myself appropriately. Hopefully, I can invite others to be part of the journey without being an exclusivist, or worse yet, an asshole.
I post all of this only to put myself out there (another one of my quirks) in hopes that those of you reading and joining me in the journey can now feel okay with encouraging me when I do well, but moreso, to push me when I forget about where my heart is and where I want my words and actions to be.
May we all be people of grace, who pray for God to open doors of change in our lives and communities, and walk through those doors when He does open them.