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.