This blogging business has been difficult for me because I have always been sensitive about others reading what I write. I love to preach, but really dislike it when someone says, "I'd like a copy of that sermon." That means I have to get my manuscript into a manageable form that someone might actually be able to read and understand- besides me! But the true reason I hate it is that I have no control over who reads it and cannot know how it will be received. I'm much more comfortable "letting the sermon go" and letting the Spirit take charge of how it's received when I'm in the pulpit, but I have this hang up about my manuscripts. I have this mental picture of someone I don't know reading one of my sermons and thinking, "Man, I feel sorry for her congregation!" I am in constant fear of being "less than."
I just began blogging in September and it challenges me for much the same reason: feeling "less than." I have to admit to being a bit awestruck by the women (and men!) in the RevGal blogring. At times it's downright intimidating! For the most part, I've just dabbled. I'll do the memes because they are pretty non-threatening and fun. I'll comment on someone else's blog because I'm piggy backing on something the author wrote. I'll post a cute story or some song lyrics. But I haven't really risked sharing my thoughts, feelings or insights on this blog, even though I'm using a pseudonym and only a very few know who I am.
I often have my best insights when I'm just about to fall asleep at night. Last night, as I was just about to doze, the thought came to me, "What if the original sin is this belief that one was 'less than?'" Eve enjoyed living in the Garden with an intimate relationship with God, but was able to be convinced that her life wasn't enough. I was taught as a child that our most basic sin was our pride, our desire to be more than we were created to be (i.e. God.) But couldn't it also be our tendency for many of us to diminish our personhood and be less than God created us to be? (Friends, in light of my topic, I am struggling against the urge to add, "I'm sure I'm not the first one to think of this." and "I'm sure others have said this before and more eloquently" So, I'll just add it parenthetically!)
I'm going to be more mindful to use this blog in a way that will help me to grow as a woman and a pastor. That doesn't mean that I'll stop doing the memes or leaving smart-assed comments on your blogs! But I will risk sounding out my half-baked, as well as brilliant, musings and insights for all to read!
In writing this, I'm reminded of the most famous thing that Nelson Mandela never said:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child
of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to
make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."
-Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love. (Often incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela.)