There is no room in my life for Orthodoxy.
My life is simply not organized in such a way as to really allow me to engage this practice- to make time to pray, to find a community, to commit to new people…even to attend Liturgy. I just don’t have the room for it. I don’t have the space for it. And this is the reality of my situation.
It’s distressing. I’m distressed.
This is no surprise. I knew that to be a part of this tradition meant a degree of sacrifice. I knew that it meant making time, shifting things around, making new friends, attending services. I knew that and I had a timetable in my head around when I’d be able to fully execute all these elements into a well oiled and solid state machine of religious practice. I imagined that I’d be all in, so to speak by September. I toyed with the idea of just jumping in, convincing someone to back me up so I could just get my badge and become a card carrying member of the Eastern Orthodox Church. I’m not usually a “joiner” but I wanted desperately to be “in.” I want still, desperately to be a part of this bigger picture.
And then there is the sacrifice…because I knew it was coming. I knew the sacrifice would be painful but rewarding. I’m not afraid of pain, I may be afraid of the reward. That’s possible.
What stops me seems so outside of myself. If I lived alone, if my circumstances were different, if it was just me…this would all be a cakewalk. But I”m not alone, my circumstances are what they are and it isn’t just me. I’m a functioning member of a group of chaos seekers. I’m a fully sanctioned partner in marriage. I need to pay attention to these parts because what I didn’t understand before I began this journey is that these relationships are the primary ones in my life. And this isn’t bad or wrong…it’s merely incomplete, at best. My family is changing always, developing, in crisis, in joy, in motion…where are we anchored then?
Not everyone I know is anchored in their faith. It seems to work out fine for them.I don’t know how to live that way and I’m fairly sure I don’t want to learn how to live that way at this point in my life. I’ve tasted too much the sweetness of faith and the bitter taste of fear. I know which side my bread is buttered on, people. I’m not alright with leaving it behind. I want this anchoring. I just don’t know how to implement it, except in small steps.
I’d prefer to find it online and have it delivered to my door. I’d like to be excited to find it on the porch when I get home one evening, take my time opening it and unpacking it all, marveling at all the intricate delicate moving parts and wondering aloud at the craftsmanship. This life would look super on my mantlepiece. I would dust it religiously so that it never tarnished, so that it was always ready for viewing by visitors.
This is the part where I’m supposed to make some realization that this is not at all the life I’m after, that to wait and chip away at the obstacles and challenges is going to culminate in the authentic expression of faith. I do want that, that is the goal here but I won’t lie…that online option looks mighty good.