Monday, November 2, 2009

Choosing My Foxhole

So, I'm not a big "church service" person. I grew up in a little church that was just starting was made up of very messy people who weren't trying to hide anything and just trying to get to know Jesus better together. It wasn't perfect, of course. It had it's share of politics and infighting...but it never felt stuffy to me. It never felt like empty ritual to come together on Sunday mornings. At this point, however, church feels like that for me. Empty, oppressive, ritualistic.

In all fairness, we've moved to a new place and so we've been visiting way too many churches and call none home. Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, Non-denominational, UMC...all different from each other with different styles, foci, ways of doing "church." The problem I'm having is that I'm supposed to decide which one I want to go to based on the service and what people there can tell me about it. Based on showing up for the hour or, sometimes, two hour amount of time that has been put together each Sunday morning obstensibly for the purpose of worshiping God. These churches are fine...the people seem nice, the music is melodic for the most part and I haven't had the urge to jump up and run screaming in the opposite direction from too many of the sermons, which I take as a good sign.

The problem is that I'm tired. When I left Richmond I was burnt out. Since most of my activities there were church-related, it follows that I was pretty burnt out on the church. This is not God's fault, I know that. I did it to margin, poor choices, pride, pride, pride. So, I think that when I'm living in this place of huge margin with all these possibilities before me, I fear the tyranny of the church. There are always a billion things to get involved in and new social "rules" to learn in each place you go- I don't want the temptation of those involvements nor the oppression of those "rules." I don't trust myself yet to make the right choices or to unashamedly be who I am, rules be darned.

This leaves my family in a tough place. I think my husband would've picked a church back in August if it weren't for me and my poor son has probably met every nursery worker in town by now. So, I've just got to make a decision. I've got to listen to the Lord and just pick one and decide to trust Him that He will help keep those margins wide. That he'll give me the strength and discernment only to say "yes" to those things that will be good for my soul or necessary for the welfare of others. I've got to trust that once we've said "yes" to a community that my ability to enjoy the service on a Sunday morning and not be so distracted by fear and unmade decisions that I cannot worship the Living God will be replaced by a yearning to be around other believers each week and seek Him together. Sinfully, I want to just stay home. I want to stop looking and take a long break and I want to justify that by saying that the distance will be good for me. But I know that in this battle I'm fighting through, I would be giving ground to the enemy if I did so. So, I'm going to choose a foxhole, dig in and keep fighting. I'm hoping that the barrage of fear and indecision will dissipate and the chance to move forward and take up new ground will follow.

1 comment:

  1. I will pray that God take you and drop you in the foxhole! and i mean that literally. It worked for me and my prayer at the time was "I can't do this anymore - just show me where you want me to go" Answer came very quickly and 6 years later i am still there. It is my spiritual family. You're right - don't give the devil a foothold. Amen
    Love, Mom