Sunday, November 14, 2004

I don't know what the deal is with my blogging habits. I've actually written a couple of lengthy blogs, and then not posted them because the internet was moving slow and I didn't feel like waiting. Rationally, I can see how silly that is; but, somehow, when I'm actually on the spot, I just want to be doing something else.

This week has been largely uneventful. We're still waiting on my brother's baby to be born. Jasmin's birthday passed rather quietly. I still don't have a job. I helped my niece to get one though, which was a good thing, and my major productive effort of the week.

I finished Thomas Merton's Life and Holiness yesterday. It isn't my favorite of his works, but anything by Merton is leagues above almost any other writer I've read. There are a lot of things in Merton that I don't understand yet, but having read several of his works now, I'm getting a better feeling for his thought. I guess it didn't help me though, that I started with one of his most complex writings, and then have been progressively working backward toward the most reader friendly tracts.

I also read Thomas Merton's Opening Up the Bible last week. It's another brief, introductory style text. I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I might; maybe it's because I didn't really understand all of it. What I did take from it, something that's very important to me right now, is the sense that it's okay not to understand everything in the Bible right away. My natural tendency is to recoil when I don't understand how something is godly. The Bible very often doesn't seem to mesh with the style of Christianity I've come to believe is true. Sometimes I want to stop reading the Bible altogether, just because it seems irrational and illogical and entirely remote from my life and reality. But after reading Merton, I've realized that my reaction isn't all that blasphemous or unreasonable.

Strong feelings, a gut reaction, means that I'm really experiencing the text. It's acceptable to be angry, to be confused, even to be bored to tears, just so long as, at the end of the day, I accept that this is the word of God, and I'm experiencing Him through it. If my heart and mind are in the right place, God will work through the Bible to change me and make me better. If I believe in all that, then it's okay not to understand everything I'm reading all of the time. The only part of my salvation I'm responsible for, is accepting what grace is given me. Someone else has already taken care of the all-knowing, all-powerful part.

So, I guess this week has been a lot more about my inner life than my outer. That usually makes my blog less interesting for my friends. That's another reason that I don't write as much as I used to. I think I maybe have less in common with a lot of my friends than I once did, and I don't want to come off as being "different." To be fair, though, I'm not the only one who's different now. People change as they grow older, and time passes. That's the way of the world; it's how it is.

Anyway, I have to go to a benefit thingy today for the little brother of one of Jasmin's friends, so I'd better get moving. Will try to blog on something more resembling a daily basis soon.