Monday, June 26, 2006

Confusion runs amuck in my mind....

I spent last week with friends from my past. It's been quite the experience. We had lots of fun- but I got nervous whenever discussion turned to anything "spiritual." These discussions sent a lot of things that I have sorted out in the past year back into the windmills of my mind- and they're spinning very fast.
I came from a prosperity/abundance church culture- and I've been really examining my thinking in regard to what God means by prosperity and abundance. Things started seeming a little wacky to me- and I began to wonder about it- so I began to think, and read my Bible, and think some more. And I believe there were some things in my old way of thinking that were off track. I have come to believe that having "life abundantly" means something different than it is usually preached. How about abundant struggles? abundant character building? abundant prayer? abundant sacrifice? You don't hear too many messages preached about that sort of thing- it usually comes back to material goods and being successful- as the world sees successful. Those kind of messages make folks feel warm and fuzzy and hopeful. But the Bible says you cannot serve Jesus and mammon- and I think that particular line has been blurred quite a bit. Messages that preach that kind of abundance and prosperity seem to me to be more self-help motivation talks than actually studying the Word.
I have nothing against having money. Really. In fact, I much prefer to have money than to not- I have been on both sides of the fence in that regard.
I don't know how to respond to messages of that kind of prosperity anymore. Truly. Sometimes, I get fearful that I am missing something or am missing out on what God is doing. Am I in rebellion? That is a question I often ask myself. Am I apathetic? I think I probably am- a little- just as a response to all the "church culture" and hullabaloo- Or am I guilty of ACEDIA- another word closely related to sloth- that involves not being obedient to what God has called me to for any number of reasons (excuses). AM I OFF TRACK??????
The desire of my heart is to know what truth is- to be intimate with God, to be intimate with Jesus and the Holy Spirit and to be obedient. I find that I don't need to do GREAT THINGS FOR GOD (oh dear, is that apathy? sloth? acedia?) and yet, I don't want to miss out on my potential either- it's all terribly perplexing sometimes. Everyone has an opinion. Am I tapped into the right ones? Should I be living life just on a daily basis, taking things as they come and doing my best to be obedient and glorify God in that moment? Or, should I be prophesying, evanglizing and attempting to do GREAT THINGS FOR GOD? I just don't know.
Sometimes, I feel like I am quite capable of doing great things for God, I have many wonderful and amazing stories of Him and of His faithfulness in my journey. But there seem to be so many people wanting to do GREAT THINGS FOR GOD- that I wonder- who is doing the small things that still need doing? They are probably just as important to Him. But that seems to counter a lot of what I have heard and have been taught. Am I missing something? Many people think these big fancy "prosperous" preachers are all that and a bag of chips- and I am very skeptical. Am I on crack? Am I crazy to think that God's blessing is something more than the American Dream with Jesus and a side of fries? That I think that God's blessing is the privilege of being created and cooperating with Him to get His purposes accomplished here on earth? That I can trust Him to take care of me no matter what? That my walk with Him is about making me more Christlike in my character than it is in being rich to "advance the kingdom of God" or in my owning real estate? Am I crazy to believe what the Bible says about the best things are yet to come? I get tired of the "name it and claim it" mentality- I believe in standing in faith on the promises of God- but do I have the right to make demands of Him- like He's Santa or something? I believe in the authority given to me by Jesus- but sometimes, I don't know- that privilege seems to be abused and used in weird ways. It's a pity that WWJD became so cliche- so watered down- because sometimes, in daily life- that would be a good thing to ask ourselves. Really, what would Jesus do? How would He treat this particular person? What would He say or give in this particular situation? Grrrr- excuse my rambling- my thoughts are all topsy turvy this week.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

And so it begins.....

That's one of my favorite lines from The Lord of the Rings- spoken by one of my favorites, Theoden (for the record, I find his moments with Eowyn some of the most beautiful in all the movies). In this case, the "it" is the insanity that begins in June and won't end until well after Thanksgiving. It's so odd, the first 6 months here at the theatre aren't exactly quiet- but it's not crazy, it's steady. Now, as we approach the end of June, we're getting ready to strike The Foreigner, get Smoke on the Mountain up (mid- July) start Arms and the Man in July and somewhere in all that we will keep the Acting Studio summer camps dressed, mount 2 new touring shows and start production meetings for Christmas (2 shows) and get the 2007 season decided, planned and budgeted. And that's just before September. In September we will be finishing up Arms and the Man, starting production on 2 Christmas shows (It's a Wonderful Life Radio Play here at Taproot and The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge at TAG) and getting ready to send out 3 touring shows, all of which will be completed by Thanksgiving. Seriously- it makes my head spin just thinking about it. We survived last year- so I am sure we'll sail through this year no worries. I am a little worried that we have no summer intern in the costume shop- whose primary responsibility is the summer camps- we had a fabulous intern last year. She raised the bar and went way above and beyond the call of duty- those kids and directors had a great experience costume-wise. This year? We'll see what happens. I don't know that there's enough of me to go around. So...I pray to not become overwhelmed and to be able to keep everything moving forward with as much joy as possible.
In other news, my friend, Debra Parker, is coming to visit next week. We shall enjoy traipsing about Seattle having a great time. I also have some extended family coming to visit who we'll be dining with next Wednesday. It's a pity that there's nothing to do....
I'd love just a few minutes of boredom.