I don't really get much time alone. In a busy household, there's always something going on close by, even if I'm not directly involved in it. Because of the constant noise and activity, I find my mind meandering at strange times - in the shower, at the grocery store, folding laundry - and moments of insight pop up wen they might be least expected. On a recent intellectual stroll, I started to imagine how I might be different if I were to be suddenly anonymous. After all, when you're anonymous, there are no expectations. There is no novelty in new behaviors, attire, habits, etc., because there is no history of anything else. So, then, what would I do? How would I be different than I am every day of my life now? And perhaps more importantly, if there would be some significant difference, what's holding me back now?
The first thing on my 'anonymous list' would be a covered head in church. I already do this when I travel, but there are valid reasons to refrain in my own parish for now. This has been an area of conviction for me for years, and I am growing into it slowly but surely.
Next up, I’d like to think I’d hold my tongue more if I were anonymous. I’m very quick to open my mouth, even when wisdom would advise silence. Smart girl that nobody knows keeps her mouth shut unless her input is solicited!
This item may seem to contradict the previous one, but it’s just the other side of the coin. When wisdom says speak, I’d like to think that I could speak more freely and opt for directness over diplomacy. If I were anonymous. Hand-in-hand with this directness, I’d like to exercise more freedom in the words I choose about my faith and religion. Somewhere between the “Praise the Lord, I think I broke my foot” of my childhood and disdain for “wearing my religion on my sleeve” is an honest, free expression of the faith I try to live. I’m learning to breathe freely in this area again, but right or wrong, I’m hesitant to be different to those I’m with every day. I don’t want the open discussion about what is, for me, a very private journey. It’s hard to talk about it while I’m in the midst of it.
There are other things that have floated on and off of this list in the last few weeks. Some are whimsical, some very serious, some passing and some convicting. All of them, however, have challenged me to seek God, seek His call in my life, and seek His direction to answer it here, where I am known. Anonymity has its fleeting freedoms, but freedom sought and embraced in the midst of the familiar is true, lasting liberty.