Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Risk v Reward & Sin

One of the perils of having a strong Belbin Monitor Evaluator is that I can see all the pitfalls of an action - including the most obscure and threatening ones.  As a result of this I have tended to be risk averse and have blogged a little on this in the past (here and here).

When I was challenged by a friend on what rules I had broken I was struggling to come up with much.  I have the points to prove that I have sped in the past J; I left uni for a weekend without having permission; I occasionally left my classroom through the window; I might not have had all the mandatory elements in some of my services (though that was more likely to have been oversight L); I once went down the pub for lunch having told the kitchen I was staying in, and as a kid I nicked the odd bar of chocolate.  Not really much to talk about over 50 odd years.  Perhaps others will remind me of other things but I doubt there is much more.

So what you may say?  Well, it left me with a view of sin as keeping the rules, and as I was good at keeping the rules I was left with an odd view of sin.  As I have changed through my priestly formation I have come to understand sin much more as those things which damage me or others: the times that I have not done things for fear of what others think, when I have built masks to hide the real me.  None of these things are against the "rules" and yet I think that they are more damaging in my attempt to live "life in all its fullness" (John 10:10 - Good News Bible) and they help me understand Jesus attack on the Pharisees.  Joan Chittister writes:
It is so easy to make up rules and keep them so that we can feel good about doing something measurable in the spiritual life.http://www.eriebenedictines.org/benedict (changes daily - quote not there now).
Now however I am struggling because sometimes my new understanding of sin means that I "have" to break the rules.  But for someone who has no real experience of breaking rules this is a scary place to be, and my ME side tells me that it is dangerous as I haven't developed many skills in this space.

And if my Bishop is reading this, in the immortal words of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy:
I've got my towel with me!

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