Belief is faith in something that is known; faith is belief in something that is not known.
H. L. Mencken ~ What I Believe
I have been young, and now I am old, old enough to tell my story, old enough to have a story to tell. This particular story begins with curiosity, of wanting to know something I did not know at age eighteen. I wanted to know what it was like to live in a Christian community.
At the time I was living in Durango, Colorado, which is 170 miles south of Grand Junction where I was born. My family moved to Durango when I was six so by the time I entered high school, I was pretty well familiar with all the crooks and nannies, as well as the nooks and crannies of the place. I was ready for a change.
The Village Has a Plan
The thing is, when you are raised by a village, the village has a plan for your life. The village has it all laid out what you will do after high school, whom you will marry, where you will attend church, and how you will die, after having lived a respectable number of years. My senior year in high school I was having none of that. To begin with, I had recently become a Christian, and that changed my worldview. Everything the village desired and valued seemed worldly to me; whereas I was interested in the “otherworldly.” Fueled by a newfound sense of righteousness, I did what any self-respecting teenager would do – I rebelled against the establishment, (but in a Christlike manner.) It was not easy.
The Child Has a Plan
When I was sixteen, I went on a retreat sponsored by St. Columba. It was called “The Search.” Father C. drove Anthony, Tom, Charles, and me to the retreat center in Gunnison. (I don’t know why I was the only girl. Tom told me later that he thought it was a boot camp for troubled teens, and he wondered why I was there.)
The Village Plan v. The Child Plan
Anyway, some of the Christians I met at Campus Crusade were scornful of “The Search.” They said when you accept Christ you are no longer searching; you are found. Okay, I get that, but I thought Christianity should be something more than just saying a certain prayer and meeting once a week to play games and sing songs. I wanted to explore Christianity in a safe and accepting environment. I wanted to live like the first Christians did in the Book of Acts. I wanted to learn about prayer, about fasting, about the Bible, and about Jesus. Mostly, I wanted to learn what life was like outside Durango, Colorado. (I would rather be adrift in my own turbulent sea than safely secured to someone else’s anchor.)
The Child’s Plan Wins
There have always been so many things I want to learn and understand. At eighteen I had faith in God’s plan for my life; I believed the commune would be a great adventure, and it was. I learned a great many things at the commune, some expected, and some unexpected. However, I think the best thing I learned was how to crochet during the apocalypse.
Note to self: I should write about this someday.