(I started this yesterday... seems that saving a blog on Blogger also takes a long time)
Writing those five, though, it's struck me though how different this blog is from my work blog. There, I can just drop in comments here there and everywhere and not worry too much about how they read. Here, maybe because there's something eternal about what I'm talking about, and something of God that I'm sharing, there's a need to take a bit more care.
Ultimately, I don't know who reads this, what they think, whether they know me or Jesus... and, although there's a bit of good-natured ribbing goes on in Christian circles, the kind of scattergun approach that is often employed in academia - picking at anything and everything just to provoke it to some kind of self-critique - would turn this blog into the rantings of an unabashed cynic.
That's not very constructive because, after all, whatever the minor or major niggles or questions, I am committed to Jesus, excited by his vision of Church, empowered by us being God's plan for the salvation of the world (Ephesians 2 somewhere!) - and that needs to show through too.
Writing this month, though, (oh, and a birthday that took me ever closer to the magic 40) has driven home the fact that things take a long time. I'm still writing, and thinking about issues that I've been thinking about for years. Church hasn't really changed much in the grand scheme of things. People are largely in the same place, situations and issues pretty much the same as they were 6 months ago.
At least, that's the way I see it from my limited point of view.
If you feel that way too... then there's something that was shared in our homegroup a few months ago that has helped me come to terms with this and cope with the frustration.
Reading through 2 Corinthians, we reached the (chapter 10 and 11) bit where Paul is talking about the difference between him and the 'Super Apostles'.
- Super apostles big themselves up, do big showy things and compare themselves with themselves. They commend themselves.
- True apostles don't boast about what they do but simply produce fruit, work almost unseen except by God, are people of integrity. They are commended by God.
And that's not a mistake. It's the way God intended it to be.
That's the opposite of what I've always been told; that the Kingdom is built through Super Apostles.
It's so reassuring to know that God designed the Kingdom to be something that doesn't rest on my ability to deliver big things in short time scales. Rather, he designed it to be much much bigger than us so that it only successfully works, when each of us subsumes ourselves into it, playing our small, temporary, limited, hidden, human parts and leaves Him to worry about everything else.
The antedote for things taking so long, I've found, is accepting that they're supposed to...