02 June 2006

On being "real"

I was listening to the radio the other day and a speaker said, "God doesn't want you to be perfect. God wants you to be real."
That which is real could be the start of pretty much any ontological discussion. Real, according to dictionary.com is "Being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verifiable existence; True and actual; not imaginary, alleged, or ideal." True. Actual. Verifiable. Genuine. Authentic.
I realized as I thought about this, that I have a problem being a real Christian. Because for me at least, being an authentic Christian is very complex. And I find that I have a hard time representing the complexity within me to others.
Very often, rather than just letting myself be me, I instead take the cues of what- kind- of- Christian- I- should- be- today from the folks around me. For example, I am LOVING hanging out at the Choosing Home Forums and have been SO incredibly inspired by these women who, well, "choose home." But I am not *using terms with which I'm uncomfortable* a "conservative, evangelical" Christian. Not even close, really. And sometimes I feel like I'm representing myself as different than I actually am.
I love being with my church people and even leading them sometimes(!), but I'm not a wise sage when it comes to policy and practice. Not even close, really. And I CERTAINLY am not aBible scholar, though I know I should be. Sometimes I feel compelled to represent myself as both sage and scholar, when really I haven't a clue of what to do or where to go to find the answers
I love crazy irreverent humor. I love to make fun of myself and some of the most joyful moments in my life have been laughing raucously with others who will laugh at themselves. I am not a saint. Not even close. Nor am I a comedian. And to pretend to be otherwise isn't honest either.
I'm finding as I move into 31 that I am dissatisfied with being a chameleon, but also dissatisfied at being uncovered as a weird creature without category -- a platypus, if you will. I find myself wishing I was like the brilliant, faithful women at CH, or the amazing pastors and preachers I've known and know, or the hilarious commentor on the BBC. Without the superlatives, these things are me -- wife/momma, pastor/preacher, commentator. It's silly to be envious of not fitting into a category, but I still wish, wish, wish there was one for me.
It seems so immature now that it's in writing, yet I sense there are others (all of whom may be related to me) who struggle with this, too.
I guess the solution is simply to be more honest and seek answers to my existential queries in prayer. After all, I guess God knows my category and loves the reality of me, even if I'm not sure about me yet.


Jeff C said...

Well, my dear, it's funny to me that you should blog re: this on Friday. This is the very day I called Holly and bemoaned to her my frustration that at 43, I still don't have a place that I "fit in." I keep thinking that such a place should exist - and it does not. I have to wonder, though, does Father leave us in that place to make certain we will hold fast to Him alone?!! It would certainly seem like that. (At least I sure hope so, or I'm an unclassified wierdo. However, with my beaky nose, I fear I fall more into the realm of a Gonzo, rather than a platypus.) Thank you April - you just gave me the perfect blog!! (Didn't you do this last time, too??!!)

April said...

I actually kept thinking of Gonzo while writing this. Maybe I, too, have an alien family looking for me. Oh, wait, they live in Eureka, IL, and they aren't looking for me because I'm always there.