Lawn Chair Catechism has officially launched over at CatholicMom.com! I don't have my book yet, since I only just ordered it yesterday, but I'll be sure to catch up on the Recommended Reading once my copy arrives.
In the meantime, I read the introductory discussion that Sarah posted this morning. There's discussions going on in the comment box, and there's a link-up for blogs as well, for longer responses to the questions raised.
I really related to the story of the parish leader who confessed that she didn't have a "relationship with God." I have felt that way myself. I remember attending a Christ Renews His Parish retreat shortly before I was married. My husband was very involved in that retreat program at the time, and he encouraged me to go on the women's retreat. It seems to be a self-seeding organization--you attend a retreat and then you're on the team of presenters for the next one.
I was 25--a good bit younger in years and life experience than most of the other women there. That was fine during the retreat itself, but in the weekly meetings afterward where we began to prepare for the next retreat, it became an issue. We were supposed to be able to give a talk about the moment where God really came into our lives.
I didn't have a big, dramatic moment. All the other women did. I actually fled the meeting in tears, feeling like a fake because I couldn't come up with some time in my life when God smacked me in the head and made me notice Him.
Throughout most of my life, I have been a leader in my church: through music ministry, campus ministry, religious education, and Secular Franciscans (where I hold a leadership position in my local fraternity.) And many, many times I feel like a fraud because I don't have that outward, obvious Relationship With God for all to see. I pray the Liturgy of the Hours. I play music at Mass and attend daily Mass when possible. I wear a Tau. And I find myself leaning on God more, and trying to do the right thing.
Am I an Intentional Disciple? I think I'm working on it. I'm getting better. It's a SLOW process, this growing-up-in-faith, and baby steps seem to be the name of the game, at least for me. Could I define my Relationship With God? I don't think so, and if pushed, I'd probably flee in tears, just like I did at that meeting 22 years ago.
Recently on Twitter, someone mused that she wished she had a thicker skin. I replied that I wished the same for myself, but that a thick skin can keep love out just as effectively as it keeps hurts out--and God is love, so praying for a thicker skin might be counterproductive.
The fact that I recognized this is, I think, a sign that I'm opening the door a crack--a door that I've kept closed far too long.