“I’m basically a professionalized human” I tell my non-religious friends as I try to explain the hows and whys of life and the wherefores of my deep thoughts upon it.
Much like philosophers and theorists, theologians are about the practicum of life
Both how it works and how it could work
and so when I caught a speaker on NPR, a snippet of one of their TED talks or some other type lecture (nope don’t know any more I was driving to my run and that’s all I caught) that purported that no one was telling the “current story” of humanity, I found myself yelling at the radio.
NB: I don’t really do this often.
I’m like, “That’s what religion does” and the lecturer says “religion tells the established story”
“It shouldn’t” I muttered
“It shouldn’t!” I found myself yelling “that is when religion doesn’t work”
“The story” the lecturer went on “should be open to telling about what it should be now.
“Well what do you think we are doing” I said. I thought about how an alive God is more interactive than the safe God that so many people would prefer. I thought about the “checklist Christianity” that so many people would rather deal with than the struggling, wrestling, ongoing dynamics that living actually involves.
If we had the right way to live, we would do it.
Or we would all be the same, copies of each other doing the exact same perfect thing.
Of course that isn’t right. Its more dynamic, that’s why we need people “in the trenches” so to speak.
A colleague and I discussed that there are few jobs more “in the trenches” than parish (i.e. regular old small church) ministry. There you are thrown all the problems of life and are doing small, little teachings to help people get through the day. There you deal with the mundanity, the normalcy, the muggle-ness of life and the practice of God’s presence and miracles in the ordinary.
Its there you practice being human.