Reflections

A few things have been on my mind the last couple days. I’ve had trouble articulating them, even in my own thoughts, and even now the thoughts probably won’t be very coherent written out. But writing always seems to help me think through things, so I’ll give it a shot.

The first part is thinking about what aspects of my life here I’ll take with me when I leave the Abbey. If nothing else, watching people leave over the last year is a reminder that even if I don’t plan to go, my time of usefulness and growth here may come to an end before I mean for it to.

That being said, this felt like a pretty straightforward answer; while I don’t know if I’ll ever live in a situation like this again, there are some of the common themes that I think I’ll take with me, and that would actually be hard for me to try to press out of my life.

If anything, being at the Abbey has made my view of “radical” much less intense. I’m living it right now, and it doesn’t mean going to Africa for 5 years or spending 8 hours a day in prayer. Whether or not I’m ever in an intentional community again, I can take a healthy chunk of what I’ve learned (and am learning) and translate into my context.

So then came the harder part. Talking about some recent events around here, I started thinking about my faith. I wondered about how different my life would be if there was no religion in it – especially with the congregational support portion of our regula gone, it’s not hard to imagine not stepping into a church for a significant amount of time.

Depressingly, it seemed like my life wouldn’t change all that much; there’s no logical reason why I couldn’t do exactly what I’m doing right now without any spiritual backing. I guess you could say this is what my parents would call a “crisis of faith”.

I was feeling pretty emotional since Christianity has always been a facet of my life, and it felt completely strange to contemplate life without it. I let it stew in the back of my head a bit while I scooped ice cream and cleaned – it’s amazing how much my brain can work while my hands are kept busy by simple tasks.

When I came back to the idea later, I felt a lot more clear headed about it. And I realized that, for whatever reason – if I was feeling cynical I would say because I’m comfortable and used to it – my life without God just wouldn’t feel right. There might be different ways to have that in my life, but once I started thinking about how I would feel, not just act, without it, I recognized that I would not be content without some form of spirituality/religion.

It’s all still bouncing around in my head a bit, still pondering some of it, but I feel okay with where I’m at now.

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