So far in this series:
I used to define myself in oppositions; now I'm defining myself in relations.
I used to need to assert my faith; now I need to trust it.
Tonight, I used to see this whole thing as stone tablets...
And I'd like to think that they were pretty good stone tablets too.
All too often, stone tablets faith is pretty petrified. It's about following rules. Rules set in stone.
And that stone tablet is a very convenient thing to beat people with.
Stone tablets are things you measure up to.
Stone tablets aren't things that change.
Or things that change you, usually.
(Unless you're beaten with one.)
My stone tablet was pretty clear: I was supposed to do the changing.
(Still set in stone. Change was something to do. To not-me.)
Rules be damned, rules be broken. Change was where it was at.
I didn't know what was written on that stone tablet, though.
Just that I was supposed to be changing. Somehow.
(During my confirmation process, I was asked what part of the Body of Christ I thought I was. I answered "the appendix." It says everything you needed to know right there.)
Christianity was external to me, reified, untouchable, held over me.
...now I see this whole thing as heirloom seeds.
Faith as heirloom seeds is different from faith as a stone tablet, in at least one big way: it's alive, or can be alive - or can cease to be and perish if you let it.
Heirloom seeds require investment. They take time. They need planting, and watering, and maintenance. And they're different from stone tablets in at least another big way: they yield. No stone tablet of faith can ever let you taste your discipline.
Heirloom seeds can change. These things are passed down to you, but in planting them and seeing them grow you can select the variations that are sweeter, or bear more fruit. Or you can select for the versions that are sweeter yet and seedless - that can't be passed on. Which highlights the fact that heirloom seeds are different from stone tablets in at least one last big way:
They can be shared.
More on that tomorrow night: Faith used to be a capstone in need of holding up...