Thursday, May 1, 2008

Reading to my 19 month old/ Universe-Disturbers

I try to read to my lil rascal as much as possible since I credit anything positive going on in my brain and IQ to the great books I heard growing up.
At breakfast I read to him from a Madeleine L'Engle devotional called Glimpses of Grace.
And currently during his wind down times before naps and "night, night" I read him Farmer Boy, the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder's husband's childhood. In the past we've read The Silver Chair, The Princess and the Goblin, Tolkien children's stories (sadly he didn't like the Hobbit yet) and Dance in the Desert by Madeleine L'Engle just to name a few. I know, I know, he's only 19 months old. Perhaps I should be reading him picture books, but he asks for these. "Buhk? Mo buhk puhleeez."
Here is an excerpt from today's L'Engle breakfast reading.
"Jesus was a great universe disturber, so upsetting to the establishment of his day that they put him on a cross, hoping to finish him off. Those of us who try to follow His Way have a choice, either to go with Him as universe disturbers (butterflies), or to play it safe. Playing it safe ultimately leads to personal diminishment and death. If we play it safe, we resist change. Well. We all resist change, beginning as small children with our unvarying bedtime routine, continuing all through our lives. The static condition may seem like security. But, if we cannot move with change, willingly, or reluctantly, we are closer to death and further from life."

This idea keeps coming up with Ben and I. How can we live it out? How can we integrate it into our lives? Even though we see it riddled throughout Scripture it rubs Ben the wrong way. He is so heavily trained in medieval philosophy that many of his fundamental values are based on temperance and balance. But Christ seems to upset that and call for radical life. His life was not at all temperate and balanced. If we are to follow His way the world will hate us. If we are lukewarm He will spit us from His mouth.

(quote continues)
"If we disturb the universe, no matter how lovingly, we're likely to get hurt. Nobody ever promised that universe disturbers would have an easy time of it. Universe disturbers make waves, rock boats, upset establishments. Gandhi upset the great British Empire. Despite his non-violence, he was unable to stop the shedding of blood, and he ended with a bullet through his heart. "

How do we live that life from our suburb? How do I live that as a mom who has that deep maternal instinct to protect my family. Any takers on this one?


Anonymous said...

I agree - there is a definite tension. The scriptures are full of godly people with different paths - some were called to steadfastness in one location and some were called to great actions & movements. Paul preached to the nations, while I think Peter & others stayed put in Rome & other cities growing the churches Paul planted. Both have definite worth in the kingdom. The difficulty is knowing what you are called to and when.

For us, we feel called to our town & community & jobs, which is a lesson to us in steadfastness, commitment & self-discipline (one of the fruits, I often forget), and yet we also feel called to action within the community - teaching, prayer, hospitality - that can bring radical change in hearts & minds. But I think the balance between each will look different for each person and at different times. Living in that tension has been difficult, but it's encouraging to hear you talk & struggle with it too.

Paul Gyorfi said...

it seems to me that when Christians live apart of God's kingdom, they may have a problem with the world that is encountering this kingdom... especially when it comes to justice, although it's definitely not limited to that.

Jesus lived apart of God's Kingdom (so did many of the early christians), and they rocked the world around them. but in order to be apart of God's kingdom, i think we also need temperance and balance in life. Jesus seemed to have this, as he new when to spend time in prayer and when to engage those around him

i guess i'm just trying to say that maybe as we live a balanced life apart of God's kingdom that will inevitably (or should) lead to serious implications for the world around us that resists God's kingdom...

troubling stars said...

PS Ben wanted me to correct that he does not believe the medievals were afraid of change. They just wanted wise and directed change toward harmony. Who could argue with that? Also, I didn't mean to say that Jesus was unbalanced, obviously He was the epitome of true balance - prayer,action- His life would just seem unbalanced to the world. K - disclaimers finished :)

Thanks for your comments guys! I love the chance for dialogue the blogging community provides, and its always a fun surprise to see who will stumble onto your blog!
(PS Paul, i've started poking around yours. Trying to talk Ben into engaging an outlet like that. We'll see...)