Thursday, October 16, 2008

Confessions of a Non-Conformist

Well recently I have really been struggling with some cultural issues, and yes we still are in America. It has been an interesting adjustment while we have been back. Some days it is hard to be back and other days I am so thankful to be back. Sundays are the hardest, it has been a challenge to enter into worship here in the States. I miss sitting in a living room and knowing the hearts of those surrounding me, generally I miss the intimacy of worship. We have been thankful to get involved with a great group here but my heart has found this is so hard. I know it's a heart attitude and I really haven't been seeking the Lord to help come to his throne on Sundays. It's been hard for me to get past all of my excuses, I don't like the style of music, I don't know this song, etc. So that's a big cultural issue that really is heart issue that I seem to be facing now.

While we were overseas we were seen as the wealthy ones, even though we had less than we do now here in America. It was simply because we were Americans that we were seen as having money. Coming back to America we are now in the poor category. Now we are totally fine with this, and honestly I love staying at home with Calvin and if we have to sacrifice a thing or two it's totally worth it. But it's interesting how those little coveting thoughts easily pop into your mind. I was trying to find something to wear this morning and honestly I don't have a lot of choose from and suddenly I was ashamed. Why is this? Why wasn't I thankful for the things the Lord had provided, instead my heart wanted some new clothes. Yuck.

This struggle is tied with something I have wrestled with lately, how to be separate from the world yet in the world. Romans 12:2 says "Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." Is it wrong to like the things the world likes as long as they don't grip you?

What about holidays, this has been a biggie in our house lately. Halloween? Marvin and I both don't like the darkness of Halloween. Maybe it has always been this way, but I only remember cute pumpkins, glow sticks and getting Halloween candy as a child. Since the Halloween season is here it seems so dark, maybe it always has and I've just missed it. It seems like there are so many scary things out there, and we aren't sure we want Calvin to be a part of this celebration. I know there are several occasions when Jesus participated in holidays and ceremonies. He even made water into wine at one of them, so I know that the Lord is okay with celebrating and having these cultural celebrations. So is Halloween a part of our culture or is it on the evil side? How do we still engage in the world through something we don't feel real comfortable with? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Lacey said...

I understand your thinking with the whole Halloween issue. Anthony and I allow our children to dress up in costumes that do not represent anything evil or scary. For example, this year we have Mario and Luigi and a kitten. We also take the children to church on Halloween. Many of them in Emporia have alternative activities to the standard Halloween ones. So basically, we celebrate fun, family and give the Lord praise. The candy and costumes are totally secondary to the day.

Marie said...

I can totally understand how you're feeling! I go through days all the time when I'm just frustrated (and slightly bitter) that we can't have what other people have. It's usually on days when some amazingly cute things come into Baby Gap, or when I see a friend in an adorable, trendy outfit. It's also hard in those months when all the expenses seem to pile on you at once.

As for Halloween: I'm glad you brought up that point about Jesus attending some of the celebrations. I guess it would be one thing if Devin and I attended a pagan blood drinking ceremony instead of taking Addison around my mom and dad's neighborhood trick or treating.

Thanks for sharing out of your heart. I hope it made you feel a little bit better to blog about it a little. :)

Amanda said...

What a great post! I love hearing people's hearts, especially someone's as beautiful as yours. Our family is one that has chosen NOT to celebrate Halloween. To be honest, the holiday really disgusts me. I, like you, used to love it. But then I did a little research on the origins. Yes, I understand that Jesus celebrated things. But I looked to see one example in the Bible where God was please, or even just okay, with His children taking part in something with pagan roots. And I couldn't find it. There are a few other smaller reasons too. I think taking children tricker treating fosters greed. While maybe not intentionally- it is still there. Halloween is dark, I agree. Darkness and Light cannot dwell in the same place-even in a holiday. Therefore, we stay away from it. It's a personal choice that we feel honors God. I'll pray for you as you try to decide what God's will is! Thanks for sharing your heart. I love it. :)