Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A "Reuben" Sandwich

I like to read the Sciptures very much. In fact this morning I was reminded several times between Judges and Galatians that these writers were pretty smart, and very inspired. I was reading Judges this morning, marveling at the profundity and empowering nature of Deborah, a strong woman leader, when I was struck with an interesting little section in her song. After an intense battle where only some of the tribes of Israel fought verse 15 and 16 go like this,

"Among the clans of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. Why did you sit among the sheepfolds to hear the whistling for the flocks? Among the clans of Reuben there were great searchings of heart."

What a commentary on the condition of so many in our day, time, culture, ect... I take it that the author wanted me to notice, basically sandwiching the tribe of Reuben's story between two identical statements on inaction. I can just hear statements like, "I just don't know God's will for my life" or "I'm doing a lot of soul-searching right now." A lot of times these are valid, heartfelt, and real, but all the while, the battle is screaming on practically right outside your door. As a contemplative, I think I'm prone to this. I'm pretty content to spend my time reading , thinking, and conversing about what I've been reading and thinking. I do believe that ideas change the world, but this passage does remind me this morning that I need balance in this area, to know when its time to search my heart and when its time to get into the battle. I think its very beautiful when the contemplative feeds the communal and the missional. I also think it is very beautiful that God gifted me with a wife that leans the opposite direction, so that the tribe of Gentzel can be driven to fight the good fight through contemplative convictions. Hooray for Kerra Gentzel!!!