Saturday, October 21, 2006

Compromising With Integrity

This week was a wonderful, heavy week. The whole newborn thing has been both amazing and trying. Having good friends back in town from New Mexico has been comforting and disappointing...comforting for obvious reasons; disappointing for perhaps less obvious reasons. We've wanted to badly to get "plugged back in" to our community here, see friends, hear stories about the Gathering...and get to visit with our out-of-town friends, Mike, Stacy, and Ella. But it's all been more difficult than I anticipated.

It was so nice to have them close by this week. It was almost as if they lived here and that took some stress off. It was a stress that was not put on us by anyone else but ourselves. I just think we had unrealistic expectations about these first few weeks. That sounds a bit like me, doesn't it?

Holly and I have attempted to live intentionally and deliberately. We have spent most all of our marriage in each others' presence...literally almost every single day. We have traveled where/when we felt we ought. We have attempted to live out convictions, to doubt honestly, and to change when we need to. We have attempted to flow with the Spirit, but we also make up our minds and do stuff.

That is complicated by a child. Our midwife says, "Now you're more fully human." And another friend says, "People are but shadows of themselves until they have children." I am reminded about McKibben's thoughts on how we are small parts in a larger schema...and that we must understand ourselves in that light. Somehow, having a child makes me feel more that way. Perhaps simply because I cannot say, "Today I will go here; Tomorrow I will go there." I mean, I could, but it would come at a cost. I couldn't honor the deliberateness of Holly and I really doing life together if I left her with the kiddo all the time, you know?

Craig said something along the lines of, "You simply cannot bring another life into this world and have nothing change." And certainly I understood that things would change...I just didn't/don't know what things to expect change in. A great many people have felt the freedom to tell us what things in our life will change...perhaps some are right on; perhaps some are not. And I embrace some change...after all, I said that was something that excited me about a child...that something outside myself would force me to be more grounded, less theoretical.

But what sorts of changes will we make? Will we continue to live out our convictions? Can we follow Jesus in the ways we think so important? Will Holly and I be able to sustain a partnership where we are together almost 24 hours a day / 7 days a week? Will we travel? When?

These are just a few of the questions that rattle around in my head...and please, I am not asking them for you to answer. :)

Mike and I walked Hayes Valley last week with Blue Bottle Coffee in hand, talking about idealism and how difficult it was for me to "get my hands dirty". He said there is a way to compromise with integrity. That is, to live the future...but in the now. To live our convictions...but in our broken contexts.

Another friend said that we must focus less on the Best Scenario of this Kingdom of Goodness and more on the Better Scenario. Damn, didn't I blog about this a couple months back?

Well, turns out I am still figuring out what this all means. I guess there's an upside in that I have been writing some new tunes and am hoping to distill some of these thoughts into songs for an early 2007 album perhaps. We shall see.


Anonymous said...

[nods head in agreement]

Parenthood is a mysterious thing.

Lora said...

i like you.

Andrew Greenhalgh said...

I'm right there with you bro. Let me know if you figure it out before we do!