Saturday, October 25, 2008

Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune

It might appear at first glance as though I was not dedicated to the manly art of blogging. The life of the non computer world keeps getting in the way. So as to not lose the title of blogger with all positive and negative baggage associated with the title, I will present here another example of futility and chasing after wind. Vanity of vanities.

I always wondered what it would be like to live in a place and in a way that one felt completely at home. Perhaps it is not possible. I grew up in Hawaii, as the child of wandering New Yorkers. Even moving back to the homeland, the feeling of being terminally out of place stayed. Then I take up theology and find that there, the place I felt most at home, most at peace, I was out of place. Even nowadays, theology is a male subject.

There is perhaps a positive side to my constant lack of belonging. It is an odd sort of freedom, an absence of loyalties to protect. I know that most of my thoughts and beliefs are my own, not passed down from times long past. Tradition is a less meaningful category for those of us who did not experience very many traditions in our childhoods. In Hawaii our family was almost completely cut off from the larger family. I did not know them. I knew nothing about the family outside of the immediate family. Perhaps this is why I never felt rooted in any particular place or situation. It certainly has colored my interpretation of theology - for good or evil and right now I am not certain which it is.

Yet assent to the existence of a personal God would, I think, suggest an intentionality to our own existence. Thus there is a vitally important reason I grew up isolated in Hawaii - a racial minority even! And then lived on the east coast as a cultural minority. How many of us really believe in that though? Can we say to the abused or abandoned children of the world that there was a reason they grew up in that hell? That God wanted them to experience that? Perhaps we have taken the analogy too far, and God permits far more randomness than our theory would suggest, and that God's call would be conditional on your not getting too screwed up by your own life circumstances.

Perhaps this too is vanity and chasing after wind.