09 January, 2010

What you do with good ol' boys like me?

I've shared this before, but I had new thoughts about it today:
...but I was smart
and I could choose
learn to talk like the man on the 6 o'clock news
When I was 18 I hit the road
but it really dudn't matta how fa' I go'd ...

The singer crawled his way out of his backwoods heritage, and made something of himself - only to find his changes didn't change him a bit. He wanted to be something, something special, something worthy of respect. In the end he says ...

I can still hear the soft Southern wind in the live oak trees
and those Williams boys they still mean a lot to me, Hank and Tennessee
I guess we're all gonna be what we're gonna be
But whadya do with good ol' boys like me?

I've resonated with that song all my life. I grew up hick and always will be. I rose to soldiering and then to mechanicing and then to white collar success as a programmer, and I did it in a lot the same way. I listened and watched and Googled my way to grasping things that were above me.

I tried to do the same thing with God.

I figured out how to talk like the man in the pulpit and on the radio and in the books and on the blogs. I can define the Trinity just like Matthew McMahon and actually understand what I'm saying. It feels almost like being someone.

But I still hear the soft wind of real life. I'm not really that man. I'm me. And I wonder what God does with merely human men like me.

I wonder if maybe God didn't wire me never to understand the Trinity. I wonder if maybe perichoresis is *supposed* to be beyond me. But I think being me is maybe within my grasp. I'm supposed to be transformed, but transformed into simple old me with Christ and without sin. I'm not a hero. God is the Hero.

Life may be as simple as loving the people I love, richly.

I vaguely see an outline of a new life in which the old man of my theology is dead. I've been hungry for him to die for a long, long time, but I think maybe I'm beginning to see scriptural evidence God doesn't care much for that man to live either. And I need scriptural reassurance to make such a big change.

It's all well and good for people to applaud populist rants like this one, but I need good theoretical underpinning for releasing my theoretical underpinnings. Go ahead and laugh, but it's the truth. I need to feel assured solid theology says solid theology is unnecessary. And I need to check three time to make sure I haven't checked three times to see whether I turned off the iron, too. The only way I know to get over OCD is exercise constant vigilance. :-)

I may blog about this from time to time. If I do, I think I'll call it Divinity Development.


Missy said...

Would you believe me if I tol' ya I know EXACTLY what you mean?? :)

It is as exciting as it is terrifying to know for sure that your going the wrong way.

At this point, for me, I'm pretty sure knowing is nowhere near half the battle. It's just the beginning.

Lynne said...

Hmm .. My background is so different (middle-class suburban girl from abusive family) but I think the essential battle is the same, to learn how to love, and how to let myself be loved(ouch!). Yeah, God gave us brains and we're meant to stretch them, but, ultimately "all our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance".(TSE)

Weekend Fisher said...

Here are a few things to mull over:

1. God made Adam to be a creature. Adam's fall was trying to be a spiritual poser - him the hero, instead of God.

2. John the Baptist preached it good. What should the soldiers do? Be content with their pay. What should the tax collectors do? Stop extorting, thank you very much.

3. What did James say true religion was, that was acceptable to God?

4. Jesus asked us to be like little children. People put a lot of interpretations on that; I'm sure Jesus used a child as an example because you can get a lot of mileage out of that example. But children love deeply, warmly, simply, and without mixing in a bunch of angles. They just love.

Take care & God bless

Kevin Knox said...

Thanks, friends. I've not blogged in a while, but I might actually write a little bit on this one. We'll see.

I appreciate your understanding. I hope I haven't oversold my case. I'm moving in a direction, but I'm still not clear of my theological lusts.

We'll see whether there's more to be learned.

Kansas Bob said...

"his changes didn't change him a bit"

I can relate to that kind of stubbornness.. most of my life I have lived from my own religious understanding. It wasn't until I began to see life and the scriptures with the eyes of my heart that I began to change.. still have a long ways to go though.

Kevin Knox said...

Stubbornness, KB?

I have a hard time applying that description, Bob. A man tries to better himself, but it doesn't work. And it doesn't work because he's been sold a bill of goods. It's a con job, selling self-improvement as Christianity, and being suckered in that way may have stubbornness as an ingredient, but I'd more comfortably call it naivete whether to the singer, myself or you.

Lynne said...

and isn't that "stubbornness" also , at least in part, part of the burning desire to get it right? To be loyal, to be faithful, to not be swayed by every wind of doctrine? The fear of compromise, of settling for something that tickles our ears rather than the uncomfortable truth? It is precisely because of that fear of getting it wrong (at least for me) that I keep going back to try and manufacture a righteousness of my own out of whatever tools I have to hand. Faith so often has to battle the fear of being deceived

Kansas Bob said...

Maybe stiff-necked is a better description.. after all.. like the Pharisees.. I was a fundamentalist by choice. :)

salguod said...

I have a feeling I['m going to like this series. For some time I've felt that I've not been letting myself enjoy this roller coaster life, too busy worrying about getting every moment right. In the mean time, life rolls by.

I've learned that too much focus on being righteous and doing right can get in the way of life and God just want's us to live. Live his way, yes, but first and foremost, to live.