Friday, March 24, 2006

Middle Class

When I was in high school, I'd read the book Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse and thought it was wonderful. To tell you the truth, I can't really remember why. I just remember thinking it was profound and reflective of my life.

As part of my curriculum senior year, we had to read the book again. We only had a few days to discuss it, as I remember, and honestly, I don't remember much from that discussion except for one the end of the discussion, I did not want to be middle class. I did not want to experience life through middle class means. I wanted to know and experience life firsthand. I really believe that was a defining moment for me. If you're going to do it.

If you want to experience Japan, go to Japan, don't just go out for sushi. If you want to enjoy music live, go to the concert, don't just buy the cd. In a way, it's an all or nothing approach.

It reminds me of the way I see God sometimes. I want to experience Him fully. I want Him to come and set up residence in me in such a way, that it's no longer me, but Him in me that defines my every thought and action. I want to force this stubborn will of mine to align perfectly with him....that I might know Him fully, love Him completely, and experience every second of who He is authentically....firsthand.

But how easy it is to slip into the middle class christian mentality. How easy it is to go to the western sushi bar and think I am experiencing God when really I am just tasting a poor imitation....a mere shadow of the reality. As Christians, we aren't meant to experience a middle class version of God. We are meant to be ushered into the best possible seats, the best possible upfront experience of God...whatever that may look like. It may look like suffering. It may look like giving until it hurts. It may look like loving the unloveable. It may look like trusting when it seems impossible.

I think I have been content to live with a middle class version of God too often in my life. I'm ready now to get up from this sushi bar and take the next step.


~ jen ~ said...

This post is great! Mike and I were just talking about this same topic with his family this past weekend. Marty, sorry, "Maarten" (as he likes to be called) said (jokingly) to Mason (both bro-in-laws) he was so "bourgeois", and I asked if they knew where that term comes from, and so I brought up this post on their computer. It spawned a three hour discussion! Anyway, long story short, I must say, that you are not alone in this; the Schaefer clan is right there with you!

Also, after I find out how to upload our photos, you are among the first to get them....we've got a new thingy-mabob with the camera, and I haven't learned how use it. But we'll get it soon...

Amy said...

I feel I am definitely in good company with the Schaefers!!! :-)

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