Monday, October 19, 2009
Nepal . . . my Bags Are Packed
There are so many things I wish I could write about, but the time is elusive. I leave in less than 40 hours. My bags are packed. My work schedule is really tough in anticipation for my leaving.
Last night we hosted a dinner party with about 20 guests. It is a send off party for my son, Tyler. He and three of his friends are taking off on a bike trip towards the tip of South America. I don't how far they will go.
I felt sad. I have so many things going through my head right now, thinking about the last minute items of my own trip. Then being on call for the office and being over booked. I wish I had the time to devote to talking to Tyler about his trip. One of the parents last night was talking about how much she loved being an empty-nester. I don't. I miss having my little tribe around my ankles . . . and it continues grieving me. Damn you father time!
Tyler was in for only four days, then he left last night to go back to his apartment near Seattle. I miss him dearly.
But after the party, when four of the 20-21 year olds were left behind, we started this long talk about faith. All four, including Tyler, seemed to be at the same place . . . where they are seriously questioning their Evangelical up-bringing. I think the conversation was constructive. It is a shame, however, that the very thing that drives them away from the Church is the "dogmatic" approach to truth. "You must believe this because we say it is true and asking questions is a sign of unbelief." The questions last night were logical, good and very sincere. I just wish there was a place within the Church where the youth could talk about meaning without being told they should just believe. It is a lazy copout when we tell them that (rather than engaging them in respectful conversation).
It is not just ironic that I also had a talk that was leading towards an argument with man, the father of one of the four disillusioned 20 year olds. It was the old old earth vs young earth. It came up when I mentioned that I'm going to a Hugh Ross (Christian astrophysicist and old earth believer) tonight with my son Ramsey. This man raised concerns about Ross' views.
Again, my view is I simply don't give a rat's ass if you believe in an old or young earth. It simple doesn't matter. The argument began to shape up as this man was aggressively telling me that anyone (including myself) who believes in an old universe can not also believe in the Bible. That's what irritates me.
As I've mentioned, I'm also reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Joyce. This books is also taking me through the creative mind of a man coming of age and starting to doubt and reject his Catholic upbringing. It seems like this is an issue that keeps coming up to me and that is this falling away from the faith of our youth. The statistics most often quoted the Barna Group's survey that suggest that 80-85% of Evangelical youth leave the Church by age 30. I'll write more when I get back.
There is so much I wish I could say . . . only if I had the time. I've had one more night of anxiety . . .where I woke up in the middle of the night in paralyzing fear about this trip. Since then my anxiety level has been held in check, thank God . . . literally. I did share with the church Bible study group that I have a chronic anxiety disorder. Some looked perplexed, so I don't know what they were thinking.
I was asked to speak at church yesterday about my trip. I didn't want to because I'm afraid the trip will get more glory than it deserves (it is a glorified vacation not some great mission work). The pastor remarked that I've seemed very calm about this potentially dangerous trip. I guess I'm a very good actor at time.
In case I don't have a chance again to write before tomorrow night, I will see you in mid November.
Posted by MJ at 9:33 AM