Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Keeping It In

Monday was a highly emotional day: my eldest daughter's first day of Kindergarten.

Sunday night, none of us slept well. We've been preparing for this day for several weeks, but there was still a lot of clear anxiety from everyone. My wife and I were up late reviewing paperwork to make sure everything was filled out (for the 3rd or 4th time again, it seemed). Just as we were getting ready to go to bed, our daughter woke up, excited, and said something like "Hi, Daddy! I had a nice nap!" After a few more hours of intermittent sleep, it was finally time to get ready for the bus to arrive.

After we finally got her to school (tailing the bus the whole way), I was truck with a sense that I can only describe as a fullness of joy with an outer rind of anxiety. My wife thought that was a good description. If you're a fruit person, you might imagine something like an orange; only with a peel that is thinner and tastes something like bile. If we can make it through that outer skin, then the rewards are sweet and delicious.

For this message, today, I was searching for a way to tie into this anxiety that I feel around the first day of kindergarten ,when it struck me that my faith is something like the combination of joy and anxiety that I've been feeling about the first day of school.

The church has such a rich and beautiful core, but there is a bit of a skin on it that keeps true joy from from really shining. Perhaps those people who are most truly, fully joyful people are those that have been able to tear off that rind and life more connected to the joy.

What makes up the rind? Mine is made of sin, weakness, pride, avarice, gluttony, sloth, judgement... all those things that keep me from accepting and loving myself and other people. How about you? What's your rind?

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