Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Quiet Life

Honestly? Some days it's really tempting to go the quiet, easy route. Move to Portland or Denver, build a small life doing the things I love with a few people I can trust. Stop troubling over "the state of things" and just enjoy being where I am while I'm here.

I know others are tempted by that idea, too. I think Moses would have been content with his sheep in the desert, never having come across a burning bush. Ms. Parks could have chosen to sit on the back of the bus and gone home to her family that day. The NYC firefighters, police, and civilians pulling people from the rubble didn't have to respond on September 11.

No way am I trying to infer that my efforts are even half as heroic as any of those. In fact, that's part of the temptation... Do people really want what I have to offer? Does anyone really need to take on the mantle for reconciliation between Christians and gay people in San Diego? Couldn't I just let it all play out, or let someone else step up?

For whatever reason - maybe for no other reason than being inspired by the Rosa Parks of the world - I feel compelled to play a role in this production. I don't even fully know what or who my character is, but I'm drawn into the story, and my heart senses a purpose in it all.

Still - on days like today, when I can really touch the tension, feel it firsthand, sense the straining in my dear friendships... I'm tempted to consider the quiet life. The life that doesn't ask for sacrifice, doesn't require me to learn meekness, doesn't expect I would put aside my own self for the benefit of others.

The quiet life is also the selfish life. I know that.

The most inspiring reason of all is still that man on the cross - the one whose meekness, sacrifice, and selflessness make the difference for me. His is still the life I want to model as I live my own. On days like today, my only prayer can be...

Lord, spare me the quiet life... but give me endurance for the alternative.