Inward Journey Communities needed for the sustainable Outward Journeys

Re: the previous post: It’s not that I don’t think there’s a way through. I always know of that hope. But there are periods, preferably short (but not always as short as I would like), when I am feeling sidelined not by lack of confidence or hope in the people to rise to the occasion, but to my own sense of value in that endeavor. I feel it when I see my video camera sitting idle on the shelf since before Christmas. I feel it when I feel time closing in on me, and pressures all around to find that role for which I am “fitted”. I watched a chunk of the movie “Lincoln”, and he was talking to a couple of telegraph office clerks, and asked “Are we fitted to the times we’re born into?”.

I have to believe that I am. But “the rub” is that it seems “the times” are not so convinced. “The times” are , arguably, a crucial — yea, “Kairos” moment — time for THE answer humanity will give to the Ecological Crisis. The elusive nature of finding my rightful and purposeful “niche” speaks what seems like volumes of “you’re wrong, Dale. You’re not seeing clearly WHAT THE WORLD IS”.

And so I pick up a book on “Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation”, and right where I left off, I am reading of the denial described in the passage I just quoted in my previous post. This part seems most prescient for my moment right now:

“Drained away are the will and capacity to enter into movements aimed at uprooting its causes; lost is the impetus for seeking more just and sustainable forms of economic life.”

I think about how this “will and capacity” get so often sidelined (I hope it is never LOST) by this sense of being overwhelmed at the immensity of the task, and the doubts about my “fittedness” to the task. And such waves of feeling “unfit” make it likely that I will allow myself to be conveniently “distracted” from facing toward the onslaught of reality and persistence of “Structural Evil” , what with our Ecological Crisis as the overarching product of that, and the regressive regime in power, and the rot of immensely corrupt powers that be spreading that infection in alarming swaths of the churches.

When even the “Progressive” among the churches are so afraid of losing members that they cower away from being a prophetic voice calling us to be the exemplary force of SUSTAINING LIFE, the task is so much harder. I am supposed to have in that church a community sensitive to the battle fatique so many of us feel in seeking to lead the resistance to Ecological irresponsibility. But that structure (the church) is not awake to this need to nurture it’s people who feel called (and beset by that call) to stand up to the “Structural Evils”.

My “patron saint(s) church”, The Church of the Saviour in Washington DC, structures it’s ecclesiology along the contours of a “Journey Inward, Journey Outward” model. The idea is that both dimensions are dependent upon the other. A Journey Inward requires some mission to live out the “go therefore” discovered in the Inward Journey, and the Outward Journey depends upon the support of the group dedicated to the ongoing Inward Journey that continually seeks sustenance from a community committed to supporting one another in the journey. I have long realized that this is a deep fault-line in far too many “Progressive” churches. Their activity leaves so many susceptible to “burn out” without a sustained and reliable Inward Journey Community on which they can rely to be there.

With the Ecological Crisis, this is a big problem with resistance movements, as with most resistance to “Structural Evil”. We need the flesh and blood “cloud of witnesses” to “huddle” with us and find deep spiritual comradeship and strength for the journey.


About Theoblogical

I am a Web developer with a background in theology, sociology and communications. I love to read, watch movies, sports, and am looking for authentic church.

Leave a Reply