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Monday, January 07, 2008

Faith and Blod

So there's been a lot of talk in camp Blah of late about sharing spirituality. Before I go any further I should explain some anacccronycnyisms:

Blah = Ben & La
Bod = Ben and God
Lod = La and God
Blod = Ben La and God

Right. I became a Christian at fourteen (woooo!) and La's been a Christian since before she was a feetus. In my home environment the exprression (or even having of faith) was always the foundation to an argument [nuff said] whereas for La, Bible stories before bed and praying and going to church together was all part of life. So my faith has developed into something very introspective and personal that depends on itself to seek God, rather than be supported by a fellowship network, unlike La's which has had an emphasis on church youth group and her predominantly Christian peer and role models.

Paul and Heather were teaching us about the preconceptions that we take with us into marriage from the images we see around us as we grow up for example: one person might see going to bed at the same time what you *should* do when you get together whereas the spouse might not have considered that and how it's important to talk about these issues before they grow into big scary arguments.

La was saying the other day that one of her preconceptions is that married couples share faith together which kind of confused me, because to me sharing faith is something uncomfortable and generally fruitless and I'm just a bit thick. Anywhom, we had a big chat and ironed out what we thought was an issue when really it boils down to us having different emphases and opinions on the same matter.

One of the things I have trouble with is imagining what shared faith - what Blod would look like. I have a very clear image in my head about Bod and I'm happy with that and I think I've been through a lot to get to that place - growing up in a household that's predominantly anti-God, my baptism saga and my experience with proclaimers after that, my authentic faith musings, St. Augustines and Celtic Spirituality/emerging church. And also the things in life God has carried through - growing up in a predominantly anti-Christian household, loosing my job (repeatedly), wedding and all the other things that have shaped who I am as a person.

I think the difference between La and me is that she has been through just as much as me as a person and as a Christian, but I found routes to God and discipline for God by my own means whereas she had a support network in her fellowship so her problems were discussed about and prayed about communally. So the difference between Lod and Bod is that Lod wants to wear its heart on its sleeve whereas Bod likes to deal with Ben issues or God issues alone.

So yeah - what does Blod look like? I don't really know but I don't think Bible study is it as Bible *study* bores me silly, nor do I think it's praying together because. Well. Ordinarily I don't really get what you can achieve by praying together that you can't achieve by praying alone. You see this is what La had in mind but I think these are just two individual faiths that somehow make an effort to meet in the middle - I think i explained it as a summit of Lod and Bod rather than making an entity of Blod.

So we came to the resolution that I will make an effort to let La know what Bod is up to and she with Lod. I still don't particualy understand what's so interesting about Bod, after all I don't tell La everytime I wake up or go to the toilet or walk across the room because to me faith should be as natural as that rather than be put on a personal pedestal. But La makes a bigger deal out of personal faith so I guess I could learn from that and she from my image of what faith looks like.

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Now with the idea of letting people know what Bod is up to maybe I should talk about work yesterday.

I get a fifteen minute break in the afternoon which I just never ever take because I don't have time, but I fell off my moped yesterday and I've had a banging headache since then. I maintain that goood hydration and fresh air will cure any headache so I went up to the staff room at about fourish for a cup o' water to ail my headache and i caught a glimpse of the most awesome sunset as the sun was just above the horizon so I thought, well I don't normally take my afternoon break so I'll just hang around for a bit and admire it and after fifteen minutes the sun had just gone below the horizon. I was thinking there must be a million quarter of an hour blocks in the day and I took the one that showed me the sunset from start to finish.

Which got me thinking about all the means that people go to to seek God: expensive PA systems, the complete Christian music industry, saying things like `I can really feel the presence of God in this place this morning, people`, doing this:

flag waving (what the hell?!), and generally all the hype that Christians faff around with in an attempt to conjour up God, when really, if we just let God let Him reveal Himself to us it's sooo much more humbling and inspiring and AUTHENTIC than laying face down on the carpet not moving for half an hour or yelling `YES LORD!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! WOOOOOOOOOO!` in my wife's earhole.

But maybe that's the Celtic Spirituality ben in me speaking,

5 Comments:

  • At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Mark Tiddy said…

    you're last paragraph made me laugh...more so the image of you yelling that in La's earhole!

    Some interesting thoughts though :-)

     
  • At 5:24 PM, Blogger Timothy V Reeves said…

    The most important thing above all is to be yourself and remain yourself. Mathematically we must maintain, under all circumstances, these fundamental equalities;

    Ben = Ben
    La = La

    However, if G = the God operator, and is allowed to operate, then

    G(Ben) >> Ben
    G(La) >> La

    Moreover, in a good relationship ‘Ben’ and ‘La’ operate on one another and we will have:

    Ben * La > Ben + La

    However, none of the last three inequalities violates the initial equalities, that for purposes of stress I will repeat again:

    Ben = Ben
    La = La

    These equalities must hold under the most extreme circumstances, especially when masculine/feminine gender trait differences are involved. E.G.

    Ben = anything for a bit of peace and quite
    La = non stop talk

    I know the feeling, but mutual accommodation of trait differences must be factored into the relationship.

    Another danger to watch out for is the Church operator, C. A good church like G, never violates the fundamental equalities but like G will also give:

    C(Ben) > Ben, whilst Ben = Ben
    C(La) > La, whilst La = La

    However, some churches do violate the fundamental equalities, leading to, for example

    Ben != Ben = Bench
    La != La = Larch

    (read != as ‘not equal’)

    Where ‘Bench’ and ‘Larch’ are churchy cliché surfing versions of Ben and La. For example:

    Bench = “MORE! MORE!, YES! YES! YES! LORD! WOOOOOO! WOOOOOOO! LORD!”
    Larch = SPEECHLESS

     
  • At 9:32 AM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

    I feel really geeky that the != operand didn't need explaining :)


    i don't think however that it's about La being chattty and me being quiet. Often I yabba away like a monkey in a tree when La just sits and looks beautifuly peaceful.
    I do like the G(Ben) >> Ben statement though. Ben is indeed a fantastic variable

     
  • At 9:10 PM, Blogger Timothy V Reeves said…

    Sorry about the 'lippy la' insinuation but I was shooting from the hip with a gender stereo-type!

     
  • At 10:52 PM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

    *sneer*

     

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