“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.” Frederick Douglass
I’m still processing the Wild Goose Festival experience. Processing physically, mentally and spiritually. The physical stuff is easy – another load of laundry, another pile of camping equipment cleaned and prepared for storage. The mental and physical processing will take a lot longer.
For Part 1 of my reflections, I am sharing the quotes from my journal which spoke the most to me as I re-read them this morning…
Richard Twiss: “I am ethnocentric, narrow-minded, and with limited vision.” It’s a reminder that how I frame my theologies, how I express the Bible’s message, and how I experience other’s stories is deeply tainted by my own life experience.
Richard Rohr: The first half of life is “creating your container” and the second half is spent “creating the content.” If I spend my time stuck in the “first half” I am invested in spouting scripted answers, defining my boundaries and staying in a world of rational and legalistic thought. When I grow past it, I am in a place of self-realization, I am ready to move from being “ego-driven” to being “soul-driven.”
From the Sexuality and Spirituality panel: I believe it was Jay Bakker who pointed out that marriage in the US has a failure rate of >50% — obviously how we view and live out marriage vows is broken, so how can the church help “fix” this? And what is it in our system of beliefs that allows people to be so deeply hurt by this?
Phyllis Tickle’s “conversation” in the dome: Until we understand the nature of the human soul, until we truly understand what it means to be “imageo dei” we can not and should not attempt to define what godliness in human behavior looks like. This struck me because human actions which are vilified by a theological camp (abortion, death penalty, divorce, homo/heterosexuality) are all based on a personal interpretation of what IS godly and what is not.
Diana Butler Bass: “In every encounter in the New Testament except one, Jesus was asking people to change.” Where we have schisms in the Church today, it is because we do not agree in the pace of the changes we are seeing.
Ed Dodson: wrestled with the question “Why does the God of the Hebrew Scriptures demand the wipe out of complete people groups?” Yeah. Wow. Later on, he shared his process of working through depression with his diagnosis of ALS, to a place of gratefulness, seeing every day as a gift. he also talked about the practice of forgiveness, even for offending people I know I disagree with, that the relationship is more important that right/wrong. Best quote: “I’m not afraid of being dead, it’s ‘getting dead’ that scares me.”
from the “Sexuality as a Justice Issue” panel: Phyllis Tickle reminded us not to use “justice” cavalierly, because in Micah 6:8 justice is accompanied by humility and mercy. She reminded us to act with kindness towards those who are adamantly in another camp. Andrew Marin challenged us to “pursue the person most UNlike ourselves,” because that is what God did/does for us. Tony Jones noted that Christ went after the people who were marginalized — who were not allowed to come to the temple to worship, and healed them. Paul Fromberg quoted Frederick Douglass on the necessity of facing and dealing with pain and struggle to achieve freedom. (quoted above) Do I have the courage to engage that struggle?
Jennifer Knapp: “It’s been harder to hold on to my faith than to hold on to relationships with the people I love.” Her honesty and courage were refreshing. Jennifer and Billy Jonas were the only “big stage” concerts I attended off our campsite (the stage was SO LOUD we didn’t need to leave the shade of our screen house to hear them!) I still love her stuff. Love her heart. Love her music.
I obviously missed a lot of speakers with these quotes, either because I could not take another rmoment in the heat and retreated to the shade of our campsite, or I ran out of brain to write down what I heard. I didn’t attend Brian McLaren or Jim Wallis live (I could hear them fine from the campsite, but I was working and listening so I didn’t take notes.)
OK, now here’s a MAJOR Caveat! If I messed up a quote or mis-represented you, it’s what I heard. 🙂