Wednesday, June 26, 2013

All the emotions run amock.

No, really. I've seen more of the human emotional spectrum in the last three days than I think I even care to. It's to the point that if/when, God willing, I'm ordained or have some lay role in pastoring others, I'm going to be dropping a serious number of people from Facebook and Twitter-- because I can only handle seeing so much of it. So much anger. So much joy. So much fear. So much hope. So much hate. So much love.

We were not built to see and feel all these in the abundance that modern technology makes freely available to us. There was a time (a time just as messed up as our own, no worries) when a man or woman only interacted with the emotions of their neighbors. And it was enough. Because it's what we're made to handle.

But I really don't want this to be about other people's emotions. Social media's supposed to be narcissistic, so I'll talk about my emotions, because they've been all over the place, too. I've felt anger (at injustice and brash words in others' general direction). I've felt joy (at problems being resolved--like housing!). I've felt fear (at how bills will ever be paid). I've felt hope (at encouragements from friends and family). I've felt hate (from total strangers who decided I was the enemy). And I've felt love (because that's what it is when my parents or grandparents keep me on the phone for an hour, or when my girlfriend texts me in the middle of a busy day just to say she loved my letter).

And the more I feel, the more I realize I'm made for this.

These feelings are oh so much more fitting to who I was made to be than most of my intellectual pursuits. Maybe that's why I "feel" more than "think" through worship. Maybe it's why I just never really had much appreciation for the lecture-sermons of my Presbyterian friends. Maybe it's why I'd rather jump and shout the praises of Jesus than talk politics from the pulpit. Maybe it's why the swaying, feeling, looking-always-to-the-Cross nature of Anglican liturgy is more profound for me than lofty treatises of theologians.

Maybe it's why I still fantasize about being a musician, or actor, or artist, or creative writer...why I'm forever in awe of family and friends who are as familiar with the tools of those arts as I am with the back of my hand. Maybe it's why I sometimes resent that the work of my hands is much more pragmatic and functional (lawns cut, landscapes tamed) than it aesthetic. I long for beauty, because it makes me feel.

And, yet, maybe part of why I'm drawn to ordained ministry is because the only orchestra I could ever conduct has books and prayers, a table and cup and plate. Maybe I feel called to priesthood because I feel equipped and suited to lead a symphony of souls in worshipping the Author of life and salvation. Maybe, no, certainly, I believe in the beauty of the people of God gathered together to lift up the Name of Jesus so much that I long to have such a vocation for the rest of my life. That with Word, Sacrament and Song, a portrait of worship could be painted in the shouts and responses of God's people.