We must not fall short looking for companionship or exceptance by those in this world that we love. If they are really our loved ones then they will stand with us. We will all stand together. But it will have to be for the life and way of orthodoxy. NO compromise.
Amdetsion, I am a little confused by this. I understand it in part, but if my parents are against religion, and most certainly will not have anything to do with Orthodoxy, how am I to be kind and caring toward them and at the same time be adamant that they stand with me on this if they truly are my loved ones? I'm oversimplifying this, I know, but if you could expand on this thought it'd be much appreciated.
The other day my stepmom told me that while she thought that some people do need religion (and she's thinking, I'm certain, of drug addicts and the like), she doesn't think I need it at all (which is flattering in that she, who is freakishly high functioning career-wise and other such wordly areas, also thinks I'm high functioning). I know, however, that we all need God. I may be somewhat high-functioning in some respects in this earthly world - mostly, I'm just really responsible - never a late bill payment! and professional in my work, (to the point where I am debating whether or not we have another child because I would be letting down my colleagues, my students and their parents, etc., although I am also afraid of having another child because I know work would just have a hissy fit - my boss told me, only half jokingly, that I had to promise to never get pregnant again if I wanted to maintain my new, hard-won permanent contract status - oops Amdetsion, there is my need to be accepted in this earthly world...). Nonetheless, I need help. Which I told her. I didn't get into specifics, as she wouldn't have listened anyway, just told her that as a matter of fact, I do need God. I do need the guidance the Orthodoxy provides. I am awfully weak though as momentarily I thought that perhaps she was right. Then I resolved to go home and do more Bible reading instead, which was only partially successful. Sigh.
nd it comes as a complete shock that it can all turn out to be a grind, and not even the slightest bit pleasant at times.
Riddikulus, this is true, although it's not all the fasting and praying and learning and repenting and loving self-sacrificially that is the grind so much as attempting to fit all that positively/enjoyably challenging stuff with all the other stuff that we think
we have to do. Like work. I'm just finishing up my maternity leave and preparing for my new teaching assignment, going in for meetings etc. You see, I don't trust God nearly enough and I am absolutely terrified that I will lose my job and not be able to feed my kids if I don't work a bazillion hours a week. I worked out a part-time gig now but that is going to be a .75 contract, which means I'll still be working 30-40 hours per week with 2 small children (and my employers are now insistent I go back next year full-time around 60 hours per week). I can't let it go, but of course I need to. And so where to I fit my spiritual practice in with all this? But yes, I am thankful that I am not the only one with these issues.
By the way, I usually do keep my mouth shut, but listening to the ignorance is frustrating. I understand this ignorance - I was there and belittled Christians too until I realized, while still an atheist/agnostic, that it was awfully hypocritical of me. (Not that I'm saying I'm not a hypocrite/ not ignorant now - just over different things).
Heorhij - at Church yesterday I was speaking with another convert who was talking about how ideally we'd all live in a community right around our Church- of course this was how it was originally done and how many religious/ethnic communities still function today. It provides support to one another and encourages people to more easily participate in Church life. In our case though, our Church is in a very pricey, single family home neighbourhood, so this is unlikely!
Rosehip, I cannot imagine the strength of those who manage to shake off all of their old biases, whatever the basis for them, and yet practice Orthodoxy with humility, love and grace. Seems superhuman. But then only Jesus can provide this strength, eh? I guess we just have to keep at and grow...By the way, I'm sorry - I hope you don't feel that I've hijacked this thread with my problems. I jumped at the opportunity to get feedback and support when I saw that you were in need of the same. I hope it's all about Riddikulus' idea of problem shared being a problem halved.