Friday, September 04, 2009

As you might recall from last week, I've been doing some thinking about what kind church or religous experience is drawing me right now. Despite loving and believing in my own church, Metro just isn't it. And no, that doesn't mean I'm "church shopping." Although every few days I refer to myself under a different denomination just to see how it sounds on my tongue"...Well, we Lutherans..."
Anyway, I think when you have been a Christian in church for a long time, it starts to get harder in some ways. There isn't much coming out of any pulpit that seems to hold tremendous insight. Actually, that's fair because preaching a sermon to a 40 year vet of sermons wouldn't do much for a newer Christian. I have to be careful not to be discouraged though when I feel hungry and there is a part of me that wants to walk away crying, "I need some substance!" So I've been doing just the thing my flesh doesn't want me to do which is trying to feed myself. That's where the discontent comes from you know, feeling like the chef didn't make enough of a meal when I should be quite able to cook my own dinner.
I'm making progress since being hungry is not something I'm good at tolerating. And it's good, I'm moving back toward that feeling of God right here instead of wondering where he went. My confession is that I have to guard against a sort of self righteous indignation that makes me critical and grouchy instead of just picking up my Bible and spending time in true prayer. And in case you haven't learned this lesson yet, let me forewarn you that the stuff you ask God to build and remove in you will be the stuff that falls in your lap constantly until you have become victorious. That's the part of growth that I just hate!
I had a conversation with someone about their adult child who is more than old enough and prepared enough to live on her own but just won't make that move. Her mom is starting to wonder if she will actually have to kick this 30 year old out. That daughter is like me. I have been given everything I need to do this on my own but I stand at the doorway with my feet braced refusing to be independent. Worse yet, I turn around and complain about what is on someone else's dinner table.
Someone who has been raised in a Christian home and has known Christ for 40 plus years should be able to do this. And I am able.
Sometimes church becomes for fellowship, for corporate praise, for holding the hands of people not quite as far along the road. I need to come home from that church and find what I need if I am hungry.
And be brave enough to face those challenges that come of challenging myself instead of being preoccupied with criticism and frustration.
So I confess, I repent, and I am working on it.


Margie said...

"And in case you haven't learned this lesson yet, let me forewarn you that the stuff you ask God to build and remove in you will be the stuff that falls in your lap constantly until you have become victorious. That's the part of growth that I just hate!"


Louise said...

You're growing my Thara and that is such a wonder-filled thing! I rejoice in your wisdom and am thankful we're sisters in Christ and am grateful He won't leave us to ourselves!!
Bless you!

Jada's Gigi said...

I have quite a lot to say about this subject...but perhpas a blog comment is not the place. Just a couple of thoughts...we are a corporate peopel...we desperatly need each other to find more of Him...however what we currently expereince as "church" in this country is not really sufficient for healthy eating..which really puts us between a rock and a hard place. We can "feed ourselves" to some extent but not to that fully satisfied state that a feast within the body provides...nor do we get nearly as much variety in our diets..singley, we just arne't capable of it. He has built us to need each other. Sigh...I know of what I speak and I cry out with you for substance...BUT...I have found that a little goes a loooonnng way..SO find that substance intentionally whereever you can with in the body for now...and find Him alone inbetween. Its a matter of survival...and He won't let us starve, of that we have His promise..."Have you ever seen the righteous forsaken or His seed out begging bread?"

Mrs. Mac said...

I have gone back to a church that preaches from the Bible chapter by chapter, line upon line. Then I come home and try to live as though Jesus is walking beside me and I ask him for advice. I don't make it to church every Sunday, but neither do I fear being sent to H E double toopicks should I die tomorrow without confession through a man/priest for the 'sin of not being able to take in the sacrament' on Sunday .. by having a venial or mortal sin on my soul.

I don't think Jesus wants to make coming to him so 'follow the yellow brick road-ish difficult.

He recently gave me a little insight that was grand. He is the present inside a wrapped box. Sometimes people make more fuss over the 'box (church building)' and ignore the gift (Him) inside.

Mr. Mac recently ran into a priest at the airport (he works at the airport) .. and in his conversation mentioned he and i were raised RC. The 'father' said once a rc always a rc and we needed to get back to church to receive the sacraments. Not once did the 'father' ask if we had a relationship with Christ (the present) .. he was more concerned with the gift box.