13 January 2010

Procrastination- Propaganda- Profundity

When I am studying something that bothers me, I do just about anything I can to stall. In doing so I stumble upon a lot of odd information. I love history and any student of history will tell you that most everything we are familiar with has had an odd beginning. Sometimes there will be different odd stories regarding the genesis of a myth, folkway or idiom. Somewhere in the mix the truth can be found. You just have to look.

While I lived in Australia I went to a visit a little town on the Murray River called Echuca. Echuca has a wonderful history and boasts the largest collection of paddle steamers in the world. It also has a coach house and carriage museum. It was during my visit to the carriage museum that I was told the origin of the expression to 'drop off to sleep.' According the docent, the carriage cheap seats were the ones outside and on the back. You had a platform to sit on and a rope or rail to hang onto for dear life. During a long trip a poor unfortunate might fall asleep and fall off. Being at the rear of the coach, no one would be likely to hear anything above the carriage noise and horses. The missing passenger would only be discovered at the next stop and when they were not there it would be surmised that he or she dropped off asleep. It's a good story and there is probably truth to it.

Another story we have all heard is that eating carrots is good for your eyesight. I recently read that this was British propaganda from WWII. It seems the Brits didn't want the Germans to know that they were able to spot their plans with the help of radar and made up a story that it was all the carrots the pilots ate that gave them extraordinary eyesight. The Germans deny this of course. I had always assumed Bugs Bunny started the rumor.

I am studying Biblical Manhood and Womanhood with the ladies in my community. Truly, I would rather have my eyes poked out than study this as it takes work to delve through the popular opinions, get to the text and exegete it carefully- not to mention the sore spots it can touch for me. I have been down this road before and studied the complementarian and egalitarian positions. I am decidedly complementarian. So why does it bother me? If I am to be honest, and why lie about anything, it's because my life is not packaged nicely so as to fit in either group. I don't want to be a preacher. I don't want to an elder or a deacon. I don't want a woman pastor or elder or deacon. I also don't have a husband to submit to and I am all done raising kids. I am in submission to my pastors. I expect them to come yank me out of blatant sin and beg me to repent and return. Of course I expect the same of my Christian sisters and brothers, because that's what we do for one another. So, what's my issue?

I don't like these studies because I am resentful of being all the things that the bible that the bible disdains about women. While I was once independent because I thought it was my right to be, my independence now is born of necessity. There is no one else to share the burden. I know now that being single at nearly 53 ain't all it's cracked up to be. It sounded like a great idea in my 20s, 30s, and 40s but as I get older I have to tell you it wasn't such a brilliant life strategy. I know that of my three or four readers, there is at least one who is dying to remind me that Christ is my husband. I know. I am sinful enough to want to retort- but He doesn't take the garbage out or open the jars that I cannot. Nor does he hold my hand while watching TV with me at night." Furthermore, I can't make him my lasagna or bake him his favorite cookies. You see, the fundamental problem with making selfish decisions at the beginning is that they spawn selfish regrets at the end.

Whoa... let me repeat that for myself... the fundamental problem with making selfish decisions at the beginning is that they spawn selfish regrets at the end. Yeah I hate it when I accidentily say something profound and it convicts me.


Philippians 2:1-4
1 If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,
2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself;
4 do not {merely} look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
(NAS)