to the Young American Converts sporting ponytails and practicing really deep breathing with wool knots out by the Vegan food co-op.
As if there was no other way to live out one’s Orthodoxy.
There’s certainly value in preservation of the good in one’s culture – I mean, hello, I’m a Southerner!
And, yes, I fast and practice the Jesus Prayer with the Prayer Rope (even have a dwindling ponytail!).
But, the dichotomy of:
This is the way we did it in the Old Country …
This is the way they do it on the Holy Mountain …
can be tiring.
It’s like one bishop once said, when commenting on why it is so hard for Orthodox to work together on social and ethical issues with Evangelicals:
“They keep saying – ‘Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord’ – Okay! We know already! Now can we get on with it?!!”
It does get old.
But, for many Orthodox, old is a good thing!
OLD, for some, equals TRADITION.
From my seminary days, I remember my Liturgics professor saying:
“In the local parish, TRADITION is whatever that parish has done for the past three years.”
And, believe me; some parishes have done boring for so long it has become Tradition.
Many groups, from small Missions in store-fronts, to Cathedrals-in-the-doldrums have fallen into a spiritual stupor …
The Orthodixie Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.
(Or, just listen right here.)
Image Source – The Small Town Heroes.