Call me KevinSorry to join the party late. I had arthroscopic surgery on my knee last Monday. At first, I thought I'd take a day or two off, then read all of Genesis in a sitting to get caught up. I'm not very good with this whole "taking it easy" thing. After a previous knee surgery, I was back at work (security) in two days. I checked myself out of the hospital following the removal of my appendix because I was tired of waiting for them to fill the Vicodin prescription (I never did have it filled and the pain wasn't so bad in a day or two). I don't take sick days when I should. When I do, I use them to catch up on other work.
This time, I'm doing things different. I took the whole week off from work and didn't leave the house for four days. I've not only taken pain medication, but I asked for something stronger. I've spent most of the week on the couch and it took me three viewings to finally watch The Two Towers. The most substantial reading I've done all week is the daily comics. I'll start the bible reading in the next couple days and catch up when I catch up.
This is all part of some big changes I'm making in my life. On the surface, I'm leaving seminary, converting to Catholicism, and taking steps toward joining a monastery. But, that's just the superficial stuff. It's really a question of authority. I spent the first thirty-one years of my life believing I was the ultimate authority. God was important and held some sort of rule, as did the church, but I was the bottom line and the top dog. I was the one who ultimately interpreted scripture and applied it to life. I was taught to question the pastor, scrutinize his sermons, tell him if he was wrong, and go to another church if he didn't change. After college, I was ordained and given the authority to create my own church.
OK, so maybe that's a bit hyperbolic and it's not like I was a bad person or one of those controlling, ego-maniac, big-hair guys. I think I was a good pastor and as orthodox as the next guy. But, that doesn't mean the above paragraph isn't true. It took a lot of pain and a good mentor to help me see it, but I have a real problem with submission and authority. It's not that I don't want to submit, but that I've never learned to submit.
Joining the Catholic Church and pursuing (even if only informally and temporarily) the religious life is a step toward learning. My action steps for the year include such things as learning liturgical prayer and submitting to a structured scripture reading plan. As a new Catholic, I want to familiarize myself with a "Catholic" translation (I will most likely be reading from the NAB, but might pick up an RSV-CE), and what better way than by finally reading through the whole thing!