Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Baby and The Bathwater

When I officially began my deconstruction process many years back, I remember folks telling me not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It pissed me off back then. It wreaked of safety and precision. I assumed that if Jesus of Nazareth called us to radically rethink everything, that there would be some collateral damage. In fact, I welcomed it.

I have felt a good deal of that collateral damage, seen it inflicted on others, and have generally come to appreciate (but not suggest) the idea of not throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

I still feel that people with a conviction/dream should try to live into it. Try it out. Push into it. You'll probably find that it's not all that you thought it would be, but you'll learn something from it and why waste away never trying truth on?

But I must say that I did throw out several babies while trying to drain the tub. And while I can defend myself and say it was all in the name of getting at that unattainable Truth, I still owe several folks many apologies. My bad.

It seems that there's a great many of us who are in some state of deconstruction, trying to figure out what to keep, what to reinvent, what to leave behind all together, what to caution others against, what to encourage others toward.

And we're ready to throw off the chains in the name of revolution...but sometimes we find ourselves in liminal spaces where rules haven't been set...we're groping...trying to do the best we can to improvise. And perhaps this is where community comes in. Other people (whether local or far-away or from ages past) can help us along the way.

But I'm not here to preach about community. I'm here to suggest that it's okay for us to grieve at the lack of certainty that so many of us live with these days. Damn, those Egyptian days of certainty feel far away and strangely, romantically comforting...calling me back there.

But I won't go. I'm try my luck in the dark a little while longer before I go back.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if the deconstruction process ever ends sometimes.

Funny, I wonder if it's deconstruction at all. Maybe we think we are tearing all this stuff out our lives when actually we are actually 'constructing' a life that is closer in line to where we are being led.

I dunno. Maybe the deconstruction part was as simple as leaving it all behind in search of something else?

I guess I say that because I wonder when I'm actually going to 'do something' that is constructive instead of just throw out ideas and ways of thought.

Kristen Howerton said...

Good word. Fun reading your blog, Ryan. This is good stuff.