This blog post is almost completely about procrastination.
When one decides to pursue ordination in the Presbyterian Church, one has to jump through a great many hoops. Some of these hoops (if we're honest) are quite bureaucratic. I have filled out more forms than that guy with the bowtie from the H&R block commercials. But while these hoops are a little frustrating, the rest of the hoops are there for a purpose and a reason, and they make a tremendous amount of sense. One of these is a written statement of faith.
My statement of faith has been on my to-do list for weeks now. Every morning I open up the word document I'm crafting, type a few words, and then delete most of them. This is severely challenging! I have 850 words, no more, to describe the God of the Universe, his love for me and the rest of humanity, and how he's moving and active in my life. No easy task.
I have heard from many that the trick to "getting through the process" is to stick to the very basic, orthodox ideas. Essentially a good statement of faith is one where you sound like you just put the Apostle's Creed in your own words. And sure, that's the easy way out. No one has much difficulty with the Apostle's Creed, so any statement that looks or sounds like this is sure to be a winner and not the source of much controversy.
But in my view, that's so boring. Given the opportunity to craft a document about what you believe and you punt just to get through a process? Please. The process exists to force us to think deeply about our faith. The process is there to make sure that we're not just another talking head trying to fill a pulpit. Writing a controversy-less statement of faith just to get ordained is not unlike asking someone else to do your sit ups at the NFL scouting combine.
So for the last few days, I've been living in the tension between "I have 850 words to describe my faith" and "I want to use so many better words." I think that's an ok tension to live in. I think we should all take a moment from time to time to write our what we believe about God, or share it with a group of friends. I think we should always be exploring new words and phrases to describe the Lover of our souls than the tired cliches we continue to throw around. I plan on playing with words right up until the statement is due, trying to find just the right ones to describe this love.
And you know, take a few moments to write blog posts when I'm stuck...