How do you feel when someone urges you to be more passionate for your faith? Maybe you are already pretty much on fire and feel 'This is not about me'. Perhaps you are nowhere near passionate yet and need an intermediate step before your funeral will be full of eulogies describing you as such. Or possibly you (and this is me, OK?) don't particularly do passion in that way. You live your life with the passionometre slightly below central leaving you content in all things but rarely angry or enthusiastic. You don't tweet about your excitement before a gig or curtain up. You have never, knowingly, been stoked.
And how do you feel when someone tells you that the problem with men today is that we no longer know how to lead. They mean the family headship thing and 'they' is almost always a heterosexual man who goes to the gym but not to do CV, has at least five children and can hold his breath longer than you while his beautiful wife looks after the children.
And how do you feel when a leader describes their priorities in life as if they were on a things to do list? You know:
Having the word 'God' on that list confuses me. It is a category error. Why isn't 'breathing' on the list? Surely it's a priority, unless you're holding your breath for now.
This is stick preaching more than carrot. Or, if it is carrot it is from the Malcom Tucker playbook, who will use the stick to shove the carrot up his victim's arse.
I feel the 'this doesn't apply to me' thing so much in the face of evangelical preaching these days. Even in the midst of doubt I am not discontent. I am accepting of the fact that it is me who is doubting - dubitatio ergo sum - which proves my existence and would please Descartes if not the Alpha Course.
No. In the routine, grass roots of life and faith I am content. It is OK to stumble through the long grass finding occasional paths and much local beauty. Not everything is a competition on doctrinal precision. Not everything is divisible into man task and woman task. Quiet inner peace is not a passion fail.
Occasionally my church commitments have meant disappointing my family. They are nice people. They understand. They certainly do not want to be on any list that includes my work tasks.