February 27, 2017
I’ve been reflecting on how different an inspired life is from a worldly life. When we are of the world we aspire to things, but we are not inspired by things. I would know having spent approx. 40 years being of the world. I was always unhappiest when I was aspiring to be what the world thought I should be. It really wasn’t until after I had been Catholic for a year of so that Lord Jesus was finally able to convince me that it was okay to be me.
This isn’t to say that I wasn’t ever happy, but I was happiest when I was being true to me. I loved my job, but that was because before I went to college I did a sit-down and I looked at what I liked to do, then I looked at the type of jobs that would allow me to do that. But, even then, there was always this sense of trying to satisfy the flesh though the world’s approval. I was being true to myself in one sense, but I was doing it in a way that the world thought it should be done.
[This paragraph added March 10th] And guess what? The world, being not of God, will lie to you to get you to do what it wants. I was just listening to the March 6th Johnette Benkovich Women of Grace podcast featuring Sue Ellen Browder author of Subverted: How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women’s Movement. Browder relates how when she wrote for Cosmopolitan she had to make up the stories of what wonderful sexual experiences women were having because no one was actually living that life. And they made up these stories to sell their magazine and their vision of what a woman should be. Compare this to God who gave us Christ: the way, the truth, and the life. God doesn’t lie to us to get us to do what He wants. If you want the Christ child, then you’re going to have to change some diapers. If you want to follow Christ, then pick up your cross and follow Him. And what God wants is only for our good–not to sell magazines–but to live the life He always envisioned for us: one where will be happy in truth and one that encompasses the whole person.
To achieve their vision the world needs you to leave certain parts of yourself out. Leave the mother and Christian at home. To accomplish this you must compartmentalize these different pieces of yourself. Doing this sets them at odds against one another. You can’t be a career person and a mother. You have to choose one or the other.
. . . many young women have developed an intensely narrow vision of their own identity . . The sudden intrusion of motherhood afflicts them as a complete loss of control. . . “their perception of their choice is ‘my life is over’ or ‘the life of this new child is over.'” -Michael Novak, Why They Hate Pro-Lifers So
Yet, parenting is not something you do it’s who you are. If you’ve chosen wisely, a job is not what you do, but who you are. And when that merges with our Christian selves Motherhood and a career become infused. Are you an ex-con? Don’t bring that to work. In the infused life God wants the whole person [more of this coming up later]. God wants the ex-con because that’s a part of who he is. God inspires him to use that to help others.
In trying to live the worldly vision these different parts of us pull us every which way. No wonder we feel frazzled and conflicted. There’s no cohesion. Even as Christians, going to Church is sometimes something we do, but not part of our lives. I don’t know how many times I’ve done some type of Christian thing where it seemed I was taking a break from my real life. This seems so wrong, because I am a Christian and that should infuse everything I do. In some ways it does as far as not lying or stealing, trying to be patient and kind, etc. But in other ways it seems I leave the Christian behind. It’s as if I’m living two lives instead of one.
Yet, there’s one small part of me that says not everyone can live an inspired cohesive life. Not everyone can keep God as their focus and let the Christian permeate the entire person. I don’t think that part is right. I think the world is screwed up enough that there is plenty of work out there for us. Plus, there are other services, like the magazine, that we can provide to each other. Not only that, whose to say that the doctor and the garbage man can’t be infused?