A ‘romantic’ mindset that I have fallen into from time to time (along with some other converts to Orthodoxy I imagine), is that of wanting to be a monk (or maybe just to be like a monk)– But what I must remember is that God has not called me to follow Him while wanting to be a monk… thinking that being a monastic would be better or more spiritual. Rather, He has called me to follow Him while I live my life as: A husband, father, son, friend, and etc. God has not placed me in a Monastery or the wilderness to work out my Salvation day by day; instead the arena that I have been placed in to work out my Salvation in is my home, my place of work, and my community. I am to follow Jesus Christ day by day in the skin that I am living in.
But even though the life of a monastic takes place in a different arena than ours as laity, at the same time it is lived out in a similar manner. Just like our monastic brothers and sisters in Christ, the same things they do are available to us as well. Just like them we too have the Medicines of the Church available to us; and just like them we too can attend Services, pray, read Scripture, fast, and etc.–And these Things are available to me in the day to day world that I live in.
I find inspiration from my Monastic brothers and sisters….
….I thank God for these men and women who have left the world behind to follow Christ. And who, amongst other things, pray for themselves and for the world. I have benefited from visiting Monasteries, and spending time there amongst the monastics for a couple of days where I have been able to learn from their example and from conversation with them. I encourage others to visit, and spend some time at a Monastery.
But still, I need to be who I am where I am; a guy following Christ Jesus in the realm that He has currently placed me in.