It’s been four years since I’ve had the pleasure of accompanying my young siblings and two parents for the ritual 12-hour drive to Southern California for Thanksgiving. And the only reason I have time to write this now is because I am sitting in my parent’s house at 7pm waiting to hear that age-old words “all aboard that’s goin’ ashore” from my dad. And waiting….And waiting. Of course this morning we were not going to take the tent trailor, but as of a few hours ago we are. Of course two hours ago I had to drive thirty minutes to pick up the car we’re driving because it was in the mechanics. And, of course everyone’s hustling and bustling with sharpish humors about them. BUT, some of my only memories of my family all together for more than ten hours are on road trips such as these. As we drive down the road (after we turn back twice to get what was forgotten) it is as though we enter a new world. What should have been done before simply melts away and lists are forgotten and we just ARE together. I like these times, even with the all-too-predictable inconveniences and unplanned adventures (like the time my dad got pulled over and was spread eagle on the ground because the cop had put in the wrong license plate number and the vehicle had come up stolen). So, Happy Thanksgiving – enjoy the difficult times with family because they make the good times so much sweeter.
An older piece I wrote to address those who find the crossing of one’s self to be horrific and unacceptable for Protestants
Refutation of two Anti-Crossers
The first adversary is one that screams “Rome!” in a very loud, high-pitched, and slightly annoying voice as they sprint in the other direction. The best time to approach these types is when they have not yet seen you cross yourself and are completely unsuspecting of any Romish tendencies that they might later perceive. I would recommend at this time that you calmly approach the subject, subtly saying that crossing one’s self is indeed very Catholic, but in no way Roman (this comment may take a bit of explanation, which you must be prepared for).
The second adversary is one of a Gnostic tendency, specifically the kind that think crossing is highly “liturgical”, and liturgical means structure, and structure means a severely decreased leading of the Spirit. On the first point, they are absolutely right, on the second, even more correct, and I still haven’t quite nailed down what the third accusation really means in their mind, but I sometimes wonder if it could be related to that heartburn from Saturday-night pizza that hits during the third praise song…. I gently ask them to read the Old Testament and get back to me (encouraging them to consider that it is the same Spirit in both the Old and New Testaments). Upon our next meeting I ask them as tactfully as possible how they see the leading of the Spirit in their church. The response consistently seems to boil down to emotions, a popular example being: “I felt led to raise my hands.” If they go there, I light up like with excitement and exclaim that, “I feel led to cross myself, and when I do, so does everyone else in the congregation! We must be really unified in the Spirit!”
Blessed are the peacemakers.