Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weeks without a blog, and all you can come up with is this?

Hello, big, empty blogosphere! So here's what I shared this morning at church. Josh and I are mulling over a decision related to our adoption. I have always determined to live according to a kind of surfer principle of the Spirit of God (I didn't mention the surfer thing in church, actually....I've never surfed before...we live in Southern Indiana....the wave action here is limited.....I do listen to Jack Johnson occasionally, though, and not just the Curious George soundtrack either! I'm intense in my vicarious surfer life...dude [do they still say that?]), believing that God's vision for humanity rolls on steadily and rhythmically, and if I pay attention to tides and gravity and reefs (and so forth, you know, surfer stuff), I can participate in the ongoing motion of God's intention by riding the waves offered to me. If I miss them...my loss, but my choice to duck under the waves rather than to shoot the curls (nice) does not impede their steady progress toward the shore. Because of my tendency toward the surfer model, I have (sometimes disproportionately) relied on my sense of the Spirit's direction, my ambiguous emotional discernment of the waves and their trajectory, for my own vision of right and truth. You might say I lead with my heart (you might say that.....or you might elucidate it with a clumsy, drawn own metaphor relying on the experience of a sport and a subculture from which you are utterly alienated....making your metaphor awkward and confusing....either way...pot(ae)to, pot(ah)to.). When I approached Josh to discuss our decision over this aspect of our adoption, I talked to him about the fact that my feelings seem to land firmly on one side of the choice, while my reason stands on the other. Which side shall be my guide? Do I surf or sidle through this question? Josh is a sidler...he pauses, considers, weighs, and balances before cautiously stepping into circumstances that seem to best reflect God's Love and his ability to effectively Love other people. I am a surfer (well, not really, but...). Together, we generally arrive at a sense of balance....sometimes it looks like one of those uncomfortable yoga positions that is disturbing to see but secretly compels you to try it when you are utterly alone.....but it is a kind of balance that makes our marriage make sense. In this case, we are fumbling around trying to find that position (very much like my efforts to strike a yoga pose), so I asked my father during a conversation yesterday to pray for wisdom and clarity (balance) as Josh and I approach this question of what is right and best. I told Dad about my feeling/reason dichotomy (left out the part about the surfing.....I just thought it best), and he made sense of my yoga problem. I told him that I had been thinking that perhaps reason wasn't marching around in opposition to the Spirit, who floats, but maybe reason is a tool of the Spirit itself. Dad said that he had always interpreted the injunction that pervades scripture to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength" as a kind of call to balance....that worship (which, in a pragmatic context, includes all of the decisions that comprise our lives) involves a careful combination of feeling, discernment, reason, and action....and that omitting any element of this balanced combination can distort the worship....leaving the choices unbalanced and the worshiper.....confused (at best). I told him his insight would make for a good sermon. He said he preached it once. I thought how much better my life would be if I could hear his sermons every week.....I'm just so glad that he's my Dad! If he wasn't, here I'd be, in board shorts and a swimming top toting my surfboard through the cornfields of Southern Indiana with Josh sidling along beside me in his golf shirt, glasses, and remarkably cool shoes.

2 comments:

Andy Clark said...

Hi Linnemans, Andy Clark here. Just enjoyed your most recent surfing blog thanks to my big brother passing along your blog site. i like the surfing model, and i think my wife will appreciate it just as much if not more. Also thought i'd throw some ideas in the ring for alternatives to "convictions" unless you've come to like that word. i think it depends on what you mean. Personally i dislike the word religious more than the word convictions, even though it's usually the right word for whatever situation it's used in. But as for "convictions," depending upon your meaning it could be anything: religious... ideas, orientations, compulsions, motivations, practices, attitudes, etc. For me at least, it would be more a matter of defining what i want to convey, and for me the meaning i would want to convey would be relationship(s). And i'd take out the word religious. Something like, relationships with Christ (or the Trinity, or whatever you'd want to convey), rather than religious convictions. To me, religious convictions sounds like "the motivations i have based on the religious community i'm around and my study of the religion of which i'm a part," which has a lot of truth to it. Relationship with Christ, while maybe simplistic, is definitely my goal, and what i hope to be my motivating factor; the key element without which my religion and my convictions become completely useless and/or counterproductive. Granted, it doesn't necessarily match the flow of the sentence you'd be sticking it in. But it makes the "motley" theme match the flow of the sentence as well as the topic of the sentence! For what it's worth...
Anyway, i like your blog site! It's nice to be able to keep up with family...
Andy

Cindi Clark said...

Amy...I am proud of you for continuing to check both the left and right sides of your brain in your constant effort to glorify God in your decision-making. It is really an easy trap to fall into...this leaning on your own understanding one...in which I find myself way more often than not. I am confident that God will honor your decision whichever direction you choose. I love you. Love, Mama