Swimming to my own rhythm

A friend asked me recently what I fear about becoming "one of them." She meant one of those church people, those women's ministry attendees, those people that hang out in the "big church" rather than our overflow-converted-into-a-church-for-the-band-service who irreverently (big church people assume anyway) call God "Dude" and who believe in letting anyone and everyone come hang out with us in the front of the overflow-converted-into-a-church-for-the-band-service, and who believe the church is not the building but the body of Christ and as His body we need to be out there finding His lost sheep.

That sounds very ungracious and I hate to lump everyone together in one sanctuary, but becoming someone who is tepidly passionate about their faith is what scares me. I think some of them may have been passionate at one time. I think many of them show their passion differently, and probably more maturely than I do. I also think some of them are not really followers of Christ as much as they are church goers. That last bit is scary. Who won't I meet up with in heaven?

While I was at the Christmas eve service at church, I was being a butthead-annoyed by having to assimilate into the larger population, distracted by the singers' dramatic gestures, bored by the piano music, awkward in the presence of strangers. In my distraction I was looking around at all the people to see what else could annoy me when I saw a woman crying and another woman comforting her. I quickly repented of being such a self centered jerk and tried to concentrate on God, like I should've been.

There is the irony that I find in loving God and disliking, almost despising, His imperfect people. I did not choose them; He did. In separating myself from them, I separate myself from Him because it is His body. I have actually had a much nicer Christmas because of this, because I have been attempting to remain more humble and be gracious to those to whom He is gracious. And, really, part of that is recognizing that altho I may act or think like a jerk, I am not one. But that is God's problem. He chose me, too.

Comments

Peter P said…
Great post Jamie!

I admit to having the same problem... we left 'big church' because of many things, one of which was the obvious religion that was going on, not worship just religious observance.

Now when I go back to 'big church' I sit there in judgement feeling holier-than-thou, which makes me exactly what I was running away from - so I have to repent of that and start again!
Becky said…
I just found you and admit being intrigued......scarily so.....looking forward to witnessing here the journey.
Anonymous said…
Recommending a good book that talks about this specifically. "The Kingdom Within" The Inner meaning of Jesus'Sayings by John A Sandford

I quote from book

Because those who enter the Kingdom must enter as individuals, the way to the kingdom is never the path of least resistance but a narrow, difficult, and winding way that requires us to "to agains't nature"As long as the person is identical with a group consciousness, he or she follows the the easiest road, inclining to those instincts, attitudes, and mass movements that are the easiest to follow at the time.
Anonymous said…
I borrowed your fish picture Jamie. hope that is okay with you. I didn't ask first and feel guilty right now. :-/ It symbolizes where I am right now in life. Off on my own journey being true to myself. Love ya Chris

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