Resignation and Applesauce

I've been out of town recently . . . gone just long enough for the voice in my head to get really loud. You know the one I'm talking about--it's the voice that says, "What you have to say makes no difference, and besides, someone else has probably said it better, so what's the point?" It seems that all of our living, our writing, our loving, is done in downright rebellion to this Voice of Resignation. If I really listened to it, I probably wouldn't get out of bed at all. Yet there it was, and there I was, spellbound by its message.

There's a lot going on lately that has me feeling dislocated. I watched the movie "Saved!" a couple days ago on my friend Phyllis' recommendation. I just want to say that I'd like to be a follower of Jesus, but I'm in the market for a new religion. The film really highlighted to me how Christianity has become a subculture in America, and many times the culture of American Christianity skews, conceals and distracts from the actual message of Christ. Then I feel scared. I get caught up so easily in the culture that I'm afraid that I'll miss what it is to simply follow Christ--afraid that the "real thing" will get lost in the presentation.

For example, I have a one-and-a-half year old daughter, Amelia. The other day, she was eating yogurt out of a bowl that had applesauce dried to the edges (from a previous snack that morning--see what kind of mother I am?). This wasn't just plain applesauce; it was blackberry applesauce, dark and sticky. As Amelia's eating, she's examining the shape the applesauce has made. She points at one area, and spontaneously signs and says, "cat". And I realize that she's looking for pictures in dried applesace the way some people look for pictures in clouds.

That evening during our corporate worship time we sang the scripture, "The earth is filled with your glory." I realized how not present to that I am in my everday life. If I'm honest, my experience is that God's glory is scarce or hard to find. What would happen if I lived looking around me, really seeing the glory of God filling the earth? Wouldn't it be like finding a cat in dried applesauce--only in every moment, in every person's eyes, every sigh of nature, recognizing the glory of God and squealing (if inaudibly) in delight?

My daughter gives me hope in my search for a new religion. I see by watching her move through life unselfconsciously, freely and naturally, that there isn't anything new to figure out or learn about how to be the church better. There are only things to unlearn. The next question is where to begin . . .