Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In or Out?

"Are you in or are you out?"

It's a question that has rattled around in my mind for the last several days. I want to know God's will and do it and "live within" it and embrace it as my enclosure.  I've thought and talked and written for years about this very thing.   

Yet today I find myself face to face with one question. 

"Are you in or are you out?" 

I will admit that this is not what I expected to be writing when I came to this screen tonight.  I thought I'd be looking into a few specific reasons for monastic life, considering how these might be applied to our lives out in the world 

Even as I type this, I feel a bit of clarification (and you're getting this just as it comes to me, hot off still on the griddle, for better or for worse...), and I think the question may be for each of us.  In the next few (days?  weeks?) I hope to look past the externals of monasticism, exploring more deeply why monks and nuns give their lives utterly to God.  I hope to consider why and how we can give our lives to Him as well, in the midst of families and jobs and trials and distractions and mess-ups and failings.  The call to live for God - not just partly, but fully - is not just for those in monasteries, as we know.  It is a call for us.   It's a serious call, the most serious we will ever face, and the most beautifully profound.  I feel a burden of responsibility even writing of it.  I have no idea if the words I am clacking away on this keyboard tonight are even making sense.

Tomorrow, God willing, I will be back on this screen.  In the meantime, I only have to take a brief look around to see that the world is not all that understanding of those who want to live totally for Christ.  Living as the Church asks us to do, spending our lives "inside" the will of God?  That can be looked upon as a pretty crazy decision.  There really isn't much room for compromise.  

The will of God stands open to welcome me.  I can't spend my whole life just loitering in the doorway.   

Am I in?  Or out?