by Debbonnaire Kovacs
Chapter 10 in The Monastery of the Heart is called “Direction and Counsel.” In our group, it seemed that last week’s “Mutuality” struck stronger chords, but this one resonated in me. It could be in part because I’m, as I like to say, “SDA to my DNA.” One of my great-grandfathers heard Ellen White speak when he was a boy. All the branches of both sides of my family tree for 4-5 generations back were Adventist. Not all still are, but our family reunions are still largely Adventist or shaped by Adventism. (Those who eat pork, for example, don’t bring it!)
For myself, I am beyond blessed to be able to say that I was raised in a Christian Adventist home. I didn’t know until I went to Atlantic Union College that some kids were told Jesus would love them IF. I was taught that God (all three of Him (and not male)) loved everybody, everywhere, all the time, no matter what. It was later (when I was 18, to be exact, thank you, Uncle Morry Venden!!) that my mother and I truly understood salvation by grace alone, but we knew, as we struggled along trying to be good, that God loved us! LOVED US!! AND YOU, TOO!!
In more recent years, I’ve learned a lot about other forms of faith, both Christian and non-Christian. They have things to teach us; we have things to teach them. The more I learn, the more Adventist I am. (Yes, really.) Adventist theology makes more sense to me, despite our family bickering and sometimes appalling blindness, than any other theology I’ve found.
So. Here I am, SDA to my DNA, and here’s a quote, without comment, from this chapter:
asks itself no difficult questions
that might require new efforts to answer.
The comfortable community
opens no new or challenging paths
that might bring down
criticism on the system
in which they exist.
The self-satisfied community
carves out no new directions,
risks no new questions,
that might disturb the sleepy apathy
that comes to anyone over time.
The placid community
foregoes its prophetic role
to live the God-life in the midst
of the profane
and chooses instead leaders
who maintain the system
in the spirit of the past,
but do little or nothing
to stretch it to the full height
and breadth and depth of itself.