The past couple of weeks have been ones of travel and visiting with friends. I've thought many times of blogging some of the things that have come up but just lacked the Internet access. It's really something I've missed doing. I think this journal has been really helpful to me and thanks to everyone who has taken the time to bother to read me. I'm really humbled by that. Also thanks for the comments and compliments!
Today I went with my parents to St. Clair Baptist Church here in Toronto. It was pretty cool. The majority of the congregation were Jamacian and the pastor was from Nigeria. On the downside the service lasted two hours and there was alot of shouting. I might go there again but would like to check out some of the gay-friendly churches in the area plus the goregous Catholic church down the street!
I was mediating during the service on the phrase "I AM." Of course God comes to my mind first of all. I AM. In Exodus 3:14, God identified himself as "I AM," when talking to Moses from the burning bush. Also Jesus made many a "I Am" statements in the New Testament, for example, "I Am the good Shepherd" (John 10:11, 14), or "Before Abraham was I Am" (John 8:58).
Then I thought about that famous quote from René Descartes: "I think, therefore I am." My existence, my very being comes from my ability to think.
As a man, I often identify myself by what I do professionally as a career. In this case "I am an elementary school teacher." I've noticed women are more likely to identify themselves by relationships. For example "I am the mother of Billy." or "I am Bob's wife."
Finally being a Baptist, I think of the tried and true, call-to-altar hymn, "Just As I Am" that Billy Graham uses alot in his Crusades. This is a beautiful idea. It's like those "Come as You Are" parties where people are just called up spontaneously and come in the clothes (or lack thereof!) they had on. You don't brush your hair or put in your contacts when you approach God. You don't have to iron your good pair of khakis or worry that you have no clean collared shirts. If you have a pimple growing on your forehead, don't bother with trying to comb your hair over it. You don't have to be anyone but just who you ARE.
To me the lyrics of this song mean that I don't have to be anything more or less than the creation that God intended me to be. When I think of all the energy and effort I still make to make my parents and others proud of me or respect me, a wave of exhaustion just rushes over me. With God and me, it's like a really great friend I can just call up and not have to censor what I say or think two steps ahead to divert the direction the discussion will go.
Simply put, God loves me, JUST AS I AM.