Tuesday, July 12, 2011

3 Bears Christianity/Religion: The Quest for "Just Right"


Some are too big.  Some are too small.  Finally, one fits just right.  Well, right in the way that a shirt fits you after a big holiday meal–it might be a bit constricting around the seamed edges, you may have to unbutton the top button so that your navel doesn’t start to bleed, but you don’t have to completely strip naked.  That kind of just-right-fit.

In truth, in a human world, full of pesky imperfect humans (present company included) there is no “just right” there is only the “comfortable enough so you don’t have to strip naked” kind of fit.  It took me my whole life to present to figure that out.  I spent my entire childhood and adolescence looking for and being frustrated by the lack of perfection in the world and inside of my Christian experience.

I was cursed with an overactive inquisitive brain since about age two, when I blurted out aluminum to my Grandpop on the changing table and made him drop the baby powder.  My nature became even less charming by the age of 5 when I pummeled my parents with questions about this mysterious Santa with a very tenuous backstory until they folded and told me the truth about Christmas and presents and all that–I sighed in relief at the truth.  I was a truth seeker and a truth purveyor, much to my parents added frustration when I decided at  7 that I could no longer contain the secret of this Santa fraud from my poor, misled brother, and told him the truth–after which he bawled and refused to go to preschool until my parents told him the truth.  I was punished, and confused I stormed off to my room, still standing by my choice to reveal the fraud.

So, since forever I have been plagued by this need to play by my own code of morality and truth and this led to a lot of frustration in my early church years…seeing a world and a faith full of similar tenuous backstories and blatant hypocrisies.  I didn’t want almost.  I wouldn’t stand for imperfect.  It was all or nothing, and so it was nothing.  I stormed out of church life in my mid-late teens with the same conviction of that child storming to their room.

It took me decades of frustration, disillusionment, and time spent searching for “just right” to realize that if we can find something that fits, even with stretching at the seems, and an unbuttoned top button at the navel, then we are probably as close to “just right” as we will ever be.

Otherwise we’ll end up running around full of conviction but totally naked, and nobody looks very good naked.

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