In the process of doing my reading assignment for the workshop I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I came across the following quote by Florida Scott-Maxwell (The Measure of My Days, 1983):
“You need to claim the events in your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality.”
I don’t know about you, but that quote really grabs my attention. I don’t often think of myself as “fierce”, but I know deep in my gut that the experiences I’ve had so far in my life – yes, even ones through which I suffered deeply – have contributed to a sense of integrity, of wholeness that I’ve come to value so greatly that I find myself loath to agree to anything that compromises that integrity.
Those of you who know me know that that I’m a reasonable sort, always trying to be fair, building consensus, working out conflicts. So you know it is not true that I never compromise. And I am definitely not saying compromise is bad; it really is necessary at times. But when it comes to maintaining my sense of personal integrity, well, that has become a non-negotiable for me. To me, a violation in this arena is what we Christians call sin. I think it’s because my most frequent, pervasive, and abiding experience of God is that God lives in that deepest, truest place in me. Asking me to compromise at the level of my personal integrity feels to me like asking me to push aside the reality of my experience of God.
How about you? Does this quote speak to any of you? Do you get what I’m talking about?