I'm sensing a theme here as of late within my updated blogs and it seems to be one of heaviness. There's a sense of weight, and an ensuing fatigue that seems to be following me here as of late. I'm not entirely sure why that is but it certainly seems to be holding fast.
This week, it's been the idea of "church" that's been looming over my head. Perhaps it's the time of year, this remembrance of the Incarnation and it's beauty that makes me long for renewal, for that true sense of community. I don't know but the concept, or at the very least our lack of involvement in the concept, keeps nagging me.
"Maybe you're afraid," you're thinking. You're right; I am. There is definitely a part of me that is scared to dive back into that fracas. We were wounded by the institution, something I keep trying to lay down and constantly find myself picking back up, absentminedly running my hands over the scars, but that's not entirely it. I'm just not sure where I stand anymore.
We've been to church off and on since our ministry time, and in those times have tried our best to be faithful to the fellowship we were attending, present time excluded, of course. Yet, in those times, we just haven't been able to connect. And truthfully, it just feels hollow, wasteful, almost worthless. Yet, there are all of these other people who lock in, who seem to get "plugged in" and have these life-changing experiences. And this is coming out of communities that (yes this is spoken with cynicism) by and large tend toward fairly shallow teaching and the like. What gives?
I realize that I've just entered into a rambling state here (truly the mark of a great writer) yet bear with me. Yes, part of me is scared. Yes, as I approach the entrance to the building, my chest tightens up and my defenses go up, to some degree. Yet, there's more. There's an idealogical change that's taken place in me over the past several years that I can't quite put words to yet will here in this meandering blog.
I'm not sure that I believe in the institutional church anymore. I love people, usually, but I'm fed up with our services, our programs, and our events. They're not what God has called us to. We're called to live our lives out together, sharing and, here's the biggie, caring for not only one another but for the "least of these." While some may point to XXX retreat that they just did or XXX small group or XXX event that was just held with the purpose of doing that, it just doesn't seem to be the overall heartbeat anymore. Service and love can't be contained in a program or an event; sure they can be part of them sometimes but just because you've held this event doesn't mean you've hit your quota. It's a lifestyle!
Add to that our certainty, our obnoxious "I've got it figured out and you don't" mentality that allows us to decide the eternal fate of others based solely upon a few questions and I'm just not sure I fit in anymore. Yet, what else is there? Do we simply leave the team, joining free agency and hoping to find something better? That's not really my style. Yet, what do we do? What do I do? Thus far, I feel as though I've been wearing concrete shoes and long for something meaningful, something of worth. And I do feel as though I've something to give, something to offer that will make a difference. But where? How?
Forgive the over the top rambling but, like I said, just feeling a little heavy today...