slice of my life

Monday, June 26, 2006

Loyalty

Warning: This post is rambling and deeper thoughts (remember Jack Handy?) than my usual day-to-day life. Since it's rambling, it might be kinda hard to follow or if you don't know what I'm wrestling with it might not make sense in parts. But this is my blog, and I have always felt better after getting things in print. Blog Therapy, here we go.

I have been thinking about Loyalty lately. I didn't even think about "loyalty" as one of my driving forces until a friend of mine (Patricia!) told me I was loyal. But as I have been pondering in my free brain time, I can see how loyalty is so much of a driving force inside me, it's a fault! Maybe. I think in general it's still more of a positive than a negative.

But this has been a character point I have had a really long time. I think back to a friend I had in high school who I stuck by through thick and thin. Yes, there were things she did that I thought were weird (but weren't we all?), and a lot of other people gave her a hard time, but I stuck in there. And what happened? Well, she went on to another school! I was sorta mad---she hadn't stayed loyal to the school? I don't know. I just thought at the time that there wasn't anything she did to break that trust I had in her, so we never "broke up." Her faults weren't enough to break up a friendship. But the difficult time she was having with the other kids at school was enough to break her trust in the school and abandon it after she'd been going there all her life.

Then comes the boyfriend issues. (This is taking me in the Way Back Machine.) I know now that I got very committed to a boy I was with, too much so. I just knew that whoever I was with, I could focus on him, I could see myself with him in the future, and the little problems I could work through. Once I had that first relationship established, I was committed, and other options just were not an option. Since I got married at 20, and actually dated only a handful of guys, this might seem like a limited life to some people! I hardly dated at all, but I guess I just didn't go out with anyone I didn't think I could see a future with. I guess. I like to think I was just discriminating.

Larry and I always joked about how neither of us had actually been the one to break up with someone, so that's why we were still together. HaHa! See how that ties into my loyalty issues? I picked my husband with similar loyalty values! We laughed about that back when we were still infatuated with each other. I still laugh, because I'm happy where I am. I still have that vision of the future. And Larry should be secure in his feelings about our marriage, because I value loyalty so much, I'd never leave him. Isn't that what vows are, anyway?

So now where does this lead me today? It's not my marriage I'm really thinking about, but my loyalty, not my loyalty to Christ or even "the Church of Christ" but loyalty to my congregation. I have lots of friends who were in the Church of Christ who have moved onto other denominations or non-denominational options. I always feel kinda sad about that. I can always see their point of view about their choices, and I have no qualms about staying friends with them. (I know some who would!!) But my team I'm committed (loyal) to just lost another player. I have friends who never went to a Church of Christ, and I totally respect their faith and I actually figure they're going to heaven, too (which if you know Church of Christ, this could be a big thing for me to say). I'm very much more liberal in my thinking than I used to be and more than my husband. (We cannot talk about evolution!) I'm loyal to Christ---I am not wavering from that. And I am loyal to the Bible---that one document has to be relied upon, or there is nothing to rely on. What we know of Christ is from the Bible, the Bible first, and then people. But the people have to go back to the Bible and be in accord with the Bible.

So where does that leave me in my current situation? I'm loyal to people, too. But who's loyal to me? Who ought I be in league with? Where should the overwhelming loyalty be? My main partner---Larry---has a lot to do with that. What is the right and wrong of the situation? It's so complicated and convoluted and full of opinions. The people I most respect and look up to---that's where I have been looking. People who aren't swayed by the wind. But I do not want to be so loyal to these that I forsake doing the right thing. But there are several "right" options, several thimgs to consider doing the right thing for. Right for my personal spiritual growth. Right for my husband and me. Right for the children (this is a biggie). Right for my principals (like loyalty or submission to authroity). Even right for the outward looks of something (probably the wrong "right" to look at!). Right in line with God's will for me. Right for my community. If I wasn't so much intertwined in working here, It would be so much easier. If I wasn't giving all the time, I'd have the luxury of walking away easily. But I am doing what I have felt called to do. So that call to the places I have been working seems a big persuading factor for me.

So I am not much decided about this, so I'm waiting and watching. My "vision" isn't being realized the way I want, so to be searching for my "ideal" situation is one option. I watch people who I thought had some loyalty to me not even give me anything at all before departing. Of course I avoid conflict to a fault, too, so I didn't ask for anything. And some did give me something! Thank goodness. In this disheartening time, I do have some friends. But I think my loyalties lie elsewhere, away from these church peers. I have others who are not entangled with all this. I have friends from other venues. And like I said before, my utmost loyalty should be to God. My moments are full of just stepping my way through a day and doing what I can do in this one moment. I am watching. This is my modus operandi. And thinking, processing the situation.

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