Not sure what to call it

I’m not sure what to call it, really.  Discontent doesn’t seem strong enough. Anger seems too strong.  Either, or neither, could be correct.

On the heels of my previous post, my time in church today was agony.  It may have been just me, it may have been all of us.  Mostly, it made me cry and wonder why I feel so disconnected from a community of people in which I, my family, have been so heavily invested for so long.  But rarely, oh so rarely, does God give me answers to the why questions.

It could be a lot of things that would be unfair to say.  Or, it could be a lot of something else I don’t have a clue about.  I just know that I long to feel, and really be, tangibly connected and to have that be a mutual thing that happens out of love and caring… not what I, or anyone else, can do… but who we are.  Not just on Sunday, but for real in an every day kind of way… us to them, them to us, all of us God-word together.  Emphasis on the together part.

I know what it’s not.  This isn’t a doubt or crisis of faith thing.  In the midst of all of the it-that-has-no-label I have known my God richly.  Something is broken in this situation, but it is not God.

I don’t know what to do with it, how to speak about it beyond this point, or where it goes from here.  It makes me restless, and I’m not sure what to call it.  What about you? Have you ever visited this not-sure-what-to-call-it place? Have insight? Wisdom? Encouragement?

I do know that this passage from chapter 5 of the first letter to the Thessalonians resonated from the readings today, and I long to be a part of a community life like this:

12Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22Avoid every kind of evil.

23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

4 Responses to “Not sure what to call it”

  1. Todd Porter
    November 16, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    I kind of understand how you feel. I have been feeling this way for a while. I feel so disconnected at my church and it all started when Kent (the youth pastor who was there when we first went there) left and moved back to Pittsburgh. It then got worse when the church decided to “simplify” and scaled back to just the Sunday morning service. While we weren’t part of a small group, not having the ability to be a part of one has made it harder.

    It almost feels like there is two groups of people at the church those who are connected in because they have been there for a long time and those who are recent attenders. And the recent attenders are just there and not a part of the group. I just want/need to be a part of a church community that I can feel like I am a part of. I am grateful for YMX because it helps fill some of that need for me.

    Sorry that I didn’t have answers for your questions, but I am right there with you wondering and praying.

  2. Dave Lewis
    November 16, 2008 at 7:26 pm #

    What you are feeling I have come to know as the “missional itch.” You’re feeling the need/desire to break out of that church as usual mold that has been cast for centuries, which many of us have followed our whole lives. You feel disconnected (as I did and so many others did and still do). Like me and others you’re feeling the need to be connected to the True Vine and then to other branches who abide in the True Vine; knowing God on a deeper level and then making Him known to others. The old forms of church just ain’t working anymore and we long for a deeper experience that goes beyond the four walls of the institutional church. Deep down inside, at the core of your being, you know there is something more of God to be experienced on a more personal level, so you keep searching

  3. Gman
    November 18, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    Always found this image amusing

    Found here

  4. Lisa
    November 18, 2008 at 10:48 pm #

    Hmmm. Been there. 7 years ago, at our former church. Not saying this is the answer for you, only sharing our experience. Eventually God led us to a different church family, and we have been living that 1 Thess. 5 chapter you quoted. It does exist, though it’s rare. And even in the midst of that, Dan and I both sense that this will not be our place for the rest of our time on this earth. There was a calling in that restlessness for us, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. I just wanted you to know that it’s out there.

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