Sunday 21 February 2016

On missing the pizza for the mushroom

When you think about it, all you're having is really a food tantrum; a spiritual food tantrum, if you will. You're the kid at the buffet who's decided that the only thing you want to eat is spaghetti when there's also roast chicken and fried fish as mains, besides chocolate cake, fondue and ice cream for dessert, but no, you've decided that spaghetti is important and you're upset because it's not filling enough nor is it what you expected it to be.

But you know you're a self-feeding adult - well, at minimum a teenager - and you can find your own meals if you need to, but you aren't, because you're in a tantrum and you can't see the rest of the pizza for stressing over the stupid mushroom that you hate. Because underneath it - underneath it is that old scar, isn't it? It's that bleeding wound that says I'm tired of always giving and never receiving. I'm tired of being mature, of being wiser, of having to be nice. I'm tired of having to put others first because that is what good, Christian girls do. I'm tired of never getting attention or care because I'm supposed to be okay. I'm supposed to know how to get it right.

So you refuse to be responsible because there comes a time you deem self-care as more important than care of the community and love towards people. You want him to fail because you want him to own up to pushing responsibility on others all this while; you don't want it to fail because it has been everything you've cared about for a long time. And you hate yourself because you know you're being selfish and immature and you know you can't go on hating people even as you also know you cannot stand working with them anymore. You've reached your enough, but you cannot let go because this is not what it should be. Thus the conundrum: do you keep at it, getting more stressed by the week, or do you let it go and hope that everything doesn't fall apart?

And you let go because you should. Or, at least, you think you should. You know it's a tantrum because you are afraid. Because things are changing and you hate change. And you need to let go but you can't, so you make a storm in a teacup to assuage yourself and to calm your nerves because everything is too much but too little.

Yet behind it all, you remember: you don't have to rely on anyone to feed you.

You've been waiting for someone to lead you, when all along, you could have led yourself. And you should have. but you haven't.


On the other hand, community matters. 
But how much does it matter - to you - anyway?


So you weigh the line between feeling used and being entitled and you don't really know where one ends and the other begins, because you feel that you've been used, and you think you're entitled to - to what? You're not quite sure either - but at the same time you know that this isn't what leadership or servanthood is about.

You know that the institution has failed you, as all institutions do, and it's funny because you've said often enough that you don't believe in church, the institution, anymore and yet here you are, still railing against it. But it's difficult to search out Church, the Family, on its own, because it's all tied up in the institution and it's hard to separate something so closely intertwined.

Yet you must.

And really, what it means is that you've lost sight of what really matters. Because your eyes are too blinded to see the truth: that as much as it seems to be about him, it's more about how you deal with him and those like him.

That's not even the main thing.

The main thing is that you've lost sight of the cross. You've lost sight of the sacrifice that makes any of this worth contemplating. And true, whilst your community holds a burden of mutual care, your care doesn't depend on you and you alone either. It's not them or you. It's not just giving or just taking. It's stepping outside this vicious cycle and remembering that it's all been done. It's all been won. You don't fight in vain. You fight from a position of victory.

And your care? That's between you and Jesus.

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