Fascination with wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind.
Wisdom of Solomon 4:12

Monday, August 12, 2013

Becoming Orthodox

As time passes, I find that most of those clichés that I read about when considering Orthodoxy are actually truer than I ever thought possible.  I am specifically referring to that feeling that one gets when it becomes impossible to fit Orthodoxy into a properly shaped box. It feels like a ride in a whirlpool.  Yes, one does travel the same ocean year after year, yet, like a whirlpool it is to some degree different each time one comes around, faster and deeper each time. 

One of the consequences of this forever new kind of experience is that one is left feeling like a student and a novice, always striving to figure out how to work out ones own salvation.  I am learning to appreciate this aspect of Orthodoxy because it beats down my pride, and turns my eyes towards the log in my own eye rather than the spec in my neighbor's eye.  This single difference is large enough to create an impassible gap between my Orthodox experience as a Christian and my heterodox experience.  Without a doubt, my daily concern is the healing of my wounded soul and body.

This does not mean that Orthodoxy is mainly introspective, far from it.  The fact is that nothing brings salvation to the world as effectively and powerfully as one who is a well healed and oozes the fragrance of God. Consequently, it is a given that the best thing one can do for the salvation (healing) of others is to become well healed oneself.

Secondly, I find that Orthodoxy forces my faith in the Lord to be ever growing.  I cannot be satisfied as I once was telling myself that I have been declared righteous.  it is true as they say that you see your sinfulness more clearly with each passing day. It is like seeing one's own spiritual birth defects laid out in an ever expanding field. Thus, I am enabled to see how I fall short moment by moment.  My only help then is in the mercy and grace of our Triune God who loves to give mercy.

"Teach your heart to follow what your tongue is saying to others.  Men try to appear excellent in preaching, but they are far less excellent in practicing what they preach."

Poeman the Monk





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