Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Ok, so it's not exactly the four questions at Pesach, but what the hell. But I guess it's time to tackle the four questions at the end of my 40 day journey with Joan Chittister!

1. How are you different?

Oh, I don't feel terribly "different" but I do feel a little more relaxed, maybe a little looser. I think forcing myself to put this on my blog rather than just keep it to myself made me a little more loosened up about "self-revealing." My blogfriends and I connect on a little different level than my real-life friends and they help me to feel more open. I realize you all did not always comment much but I knew the visits were there, by my live feed. I liked to think that y'all were mulling over the questions in your own heads!

2. What have you learned?

I have learned that some of this stuff is not as scary as I thought it was, and not as unique. A lot of times when you did comment, it was because of a shared feeling or experience. I learned that by being self-questioning and self-revealing that sometimes others will share and then it does not feel quite so alone or unique.

3. What have you experienced?

Oh, a lot of the "experience" I think, is yet to be determined. But I have certainly experienced a real feeling of having taken a journey, and a good one at that. I have a sense, though, that "the best is yet to be" in terms of what this journey is. I've experienced joy and fear, longing and apprehension, and, oddly enough, a sense of the reality of the sources of love in my life. These, however, are merely introductions, I believe, to bigger things!

4. In what ways has your faith and practice been transformed?

I feel a little more "empowered" by my faith although I think it will become more "cemented" later. Again, I sense there is a grounding that will occur as time goes on. The end of this trip is not "the end of the journey."

I have always had a lot of stamina with projects that require discipline and I am comforted in knowing this is true for spiritual discipline, too.

Finally, I thought about this in terms of church yesterday. Two things stuck out in my mind. When my buddy C. got confirmed, I could feel my own moment of confirmation just as if it was happening. Could I actually be "becoming part of my own Baptismal Covenant?"

The other thing that stuck out in my mind is something in the Bishop's sermon that was a big clarifier in what is otherwise a very weird parable (the wedding feast parable in Matthew 22). Everyone, he pointed out, gets stuck on the "casting out" part of that parable and ignores the two most important parts of it...namely, there is going to be a feast, and be sure and dress for the occasion!

I am realizing after this 40 day trip, I've spent a lot of energy convincing myself (wrongly) that I don't belong at the feast. Well, duh. No one does. But we got invited anyway. All we have to do is say "yes", show up, and dress for a wedding feast. What I just did for 40 days is "get dressed" in a way! I am just now realizing I was invited to this feast because the inviter wanted me there, not because he "had to!"


I love your last paragraph. It's a great coda to this journey you've been on, and it makes that parable a lot more accessible to me.



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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