Orthodox Christianity is way of life, a way of looking and acting in the world as a follower of Christ that is all inclusive and comes, over time, to fill every part of our lives, in fact to become our life. This is a difficult thing because it requires radical transformation of our entire being. In time we are asked to replace who we are at any given moment with who we were designed to be by God. We are called to die to ourselves to find true life.
Along the way there is resistance. Our old life is not always willing to let go. Even the most pious seem to be able to find pockets of resistance hidden in dark corners and the much less pious, like myself, can find all we need in plain view. Because the reward is high the demands are high and easier roads can be very alluring.
Yet it can’t be “I’m Orthodox but…” Authentic Orthodoxy touches every aspect of life and there is no place in a human life outside of its claims. There are no separate rules for politics, business, sexuality, intellect, the list can go on. If Orthodoxy is to be lived effectively, in its most blessed and saving sense, its claim on the human must be complete and ongoing.
Now I’m not saying this because I have achieved anything. In many ways I have not even yet come to know what I don’t know. Yet this truth I do know and my failures to live it do not negate it. If I am to be truly Orthodox there are no “but’s” allowed, no compromises, just one glorious journey. If I am to be faithful I am slated to be a stranger in this world, staying where I can but ever on a trek to my true home.
This is not easy. I will fail. I will try to negotiate God down to something that I believe better suits my needs. I will look for the small print at the bottom of the contract. Its what we broken humans do. Yet in the end I hope to lose this bout with God, to say “uncle” as it were or better yet “Abba Father” and come to know eternal life.