I guess I have always considered myself to be a romanticist—a person who imagines things to be a little rosier than they are—a person who looks at life in a somewhat simple or story-book fashion.
After all, I grew up watching Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver and Gilliagan’s Island—what can you expect—I am programmed to think that things work out—that the good guy always gets the girl and so on. It’s not my fault—maybe I can blame Walt Disney.
Even reading Kafka, Thomas Mann and Albert Camus during my formative college years didn’t totally erase the idealism within me that characterizes a romanticist.
Dictionary dot com defines romantic as: …pertaining to, or characteristic of a style of literature and art that subordinates form to content, encourages freedom of treatment, emphasizes imagination, emotion, and introspection, and often celebrates nature, the ordinary person, and freedom of the spirit
imbued with or dominated by idealism, a desire for adventure, chivalry, etc.
I guess I can own that. It sounds so “ideal”.
Being a romantic certainly hasn’t won me any awards and may, after all is said and done, be a moot point anyway.
After all these years, I still believe that I was created to live in a community of believers—although I am beginning to suspect it will never look like the romantic ideal that was created in my mind when God breathed the dream of it into me shortly after I began my Christian walk nearly 29 years ago.
Sandi and I thought we had found it many years ago. We were a part of a group of people that called themselves the Manifested Sons of God. They had “endtime” communities in Alaska and Latin America. Traveling ministries would pass through our little church and tell us about the communities and how they lived their daily lives. How they had big meeting rooms where they would often eat together and how when one person from the “farm” would travel into town (they lived in the wild) they would shop for many people so as to save gas and energy.
It all sounded so “ideal”. We almost considered a move up north but both Sandi and I liked daylight and that move never happened. The group had a lot of truth but were way off in certain other areas of doctrine and after a time we drifted apart and moved to Boone and became a part of a local fellowship there. It was not an “ideal” match but the group met our needs for many years.
Looking back (idealistically), we had community for many years. I can’t remember all the people who had us over for dinner during the early years of our relationship with that church. As we grew a family, the invites became fewer and fewer but we fellowshiped with other familes in what we called home groups. We would meet weekly and do desserts and get to know one another. Sometimes we’d discuss a sermon or a book or what was happening in our lives—then we’d pray for one another and in this way were sustained in our lives as Christians.
It’s looking like more of a community the longer I reminisce.
So…there is the “ideal” and then there is always the “reality” of the ideal.
We are told as children to just be happy with what we have. Yet within us is that thing which tells us that we will only be happy if we have something that we don’t already posess. We start collecting stuff to scratch the itch that man created.
I think community is an itch that God created. I think living together and laughing together and sharing food together is something that at the most primal level is good for us….it is community.
And until something else comes along to take its place….lets enjoy what we have and not hold out until what we don’t have comes along—if it ever will or does.
Maybe it is a little like, “the man who seeks to find his life shall lose it, and he who seeks to lose his life shall gain it.” If we work to create the ideal, we are focused on what isn’t and we find our focus. If we live working to love others, we are focused on what is, the others around us, and we find what we were not seeking. Maybe we should stop trying to get it right…to make it be…to make it happen. Since His work is completed, let’s just live our completed lives together.
1. Here’s a quote from you:”The group had a lot of truth but were way off in certain other areas of doctrine.:My thought: I think this is a contradiction, not an oxymoron; therefore the second part of the statement is true…they were off in their…(everything.)2.Another quote from you: “We are told as children to just be happy with what we have. Yet within us is that thing which tells us that we will only be happy if we have something that we don’t already posess.” My thought: Life is full of contradictions. That’s why the omnipotent God hung on a cross.3. Here’s the best quote from your latest column: “I think community is an itch that God created.”And I agree. No contradiction there. Love, Carey
I just reread your last paragraph. I realized what I wrote and what you wrote are very similar. Cool.
I realized this morning that in comments that I posted yesterday in response to “Romantic” I was using the word “oxymoron” where I had intended to write “paradox.”Hence: I’t a paradox (not an oxymoron) that the omnipotent God hung upon a cross.
Will explode if the reactor in Japan?
What dress to wear? Red or black?
What dress to wear? Red or black?