Friday, June 30, 2006

Montreat West...Thursday

Earlier today (Thursday), the Servant Squad spent some quality time exploring the theme of conflict. Some of them worked with modeling clay to sculpt their response, while some finger painted, and others wrote their own "blogs" in response to scenarios posted around the room. Nobody took advantage of the liturgical movement station.

Between last night's sermon and this morning's keynote, hopefully the youth here at Montreat West are thinking about issues of race, gender, sexuality, power, oppression, and control. J. Herbert did a fabulous job of talking about the racial injustices that are still prevalent in our society. He gave us a glimpse into his world as an African-American man, and some of it made me so sad. He talked about being painfully aware of where his hands are at all times when he's in a store, because he doesn't want to appear as if he's stealing something or getting ready to pull a weapon. This morning, Cindy encouraged us to think more seriously about the civil rights movement, and what it means to seriously engage in conversation with "the other."

The sermon last night was pretty convicting for me. As I heard J. Herbert speak, I realized that that "voice" very absent from my day to day encounters. I feel like there was a time, in seminary, and some in college, when that voice was a part of my life, but not so much now. Nor have I been intentional about speaking in that voice in my current situation. When I run, my thoughts no longer focus on the ways that I can transform the world around me or how I'm going to speak the truth to power, but instead I worry about my car payment and my house payment, and whether I have money in my account to cover them...I think about how quickly I can pay off my student loans, or when I'll be able to afford a new TV, or what I "need" at Target, or when I'm going to play golf again, or vainly, I think about how much better I'm gonna look now that I'm running every other day. Yeah...J. Herbert's words were convicting. I need to get back to the roots of questioning the status quo and speaking up for those who don't have a voice.

Why is it so easy to feel fired up about this stuff when I'm here at Montreat or when I was in seminary? What is it about "the real world" that saps away my energy from truly transforming the world around me...from living into the kingdom?