OK, so yesterday I went to church. The same one that there is a link to (the website, that is) on my list over there
where we're been going regularly for about 6 years. Last Sunday morning we did not go there. We (the boys and I) went to a slightly smaller, yet fuller, and more established congregation. I am feeling restless at our "home church". Seriously. More and more to where I am considering going in to talk to the Pastor today.
I love the people there. I appreciate the style in which Pastor delivers the message, and he does use scripture, for sure. But yesterday, I believe that the message was so skewed from a principle piece of the scripture used, that I contemplated leaving. The verse he was drawing the teaching from, was basically God stating a list of people that He was referring to, who were adulterers, liars, hypocrites, gossips, etc., and it ended with Him saying "but do not fear me".
Now, I read and re-read the paragraph this was taken from, wanting to be sure of the context, and get a better grasp on what the Preacher was saying. He took the last part and emphasized that the Lord was telling them (us) not to fear Him. That even though all of these sins were true, that they ought not to fear God, but instead to just come to Him and repent. Now, don't get me wrong, I am COMPLETELY down with our unending need to repent. (Meaning to change from the awful things we used to do, which is where the 12 steps come in handy, in my experience)I find it very much like the phenomenon that occurs after my boy has FINALLY gotten his rear warmed after asking for it for quite a while, and he has time to consider his actions --there comes a peaceful reconnecting and a calm time of reaffirming the love between us...
But the verse was CLEARLY stating that one of the things wrong with these people being described was that they do not fear God. This is a real difference from being told NOT to fear Him, isn't it? It seemed like there was such care being taken--just my perception, granted--not to condemn anyone (which is a good thing, b/c there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus), that there was nothing there to CONVICT our hearts.
I don't want to find another church. I really like these people.
As the "worship band" was playing a song, an old OLD man got up and kind of danced/shuffled around a little bit, which is somewhat unusual, but not really stare-worthy, there. I saw people smiling at him and he was smiling and obviously getting into the spirit and the music. This would be a great time for the band to play the song a little longer or another one like it,(Doesn't God appreciate it when His people SHOW their happiness to be there, and to be worshipping Him?)I thought. But our leaders, I assume, have a schedule to keep. There is no room for any considerations of the Spirit moving or maybe wanting to take a few more minutes to allow for an old saint's heart connection to God. Really, what if they HAD given a few more minutes there? Other folks would likely have joined him, and then there might have been MORE disruption of the schedule...
I'm sorry for any one that might take offense to that. I admit that I have been ruined for anything "average" when it comes to certain things of God. It's like if all you've ever had was that water with the sulfur-taste to it, and you know, it's all you've ever tasted, so it's ok. It's water, nothing exciting, but it's what you need when there's nothing else available. Then one day someone brings you some fresh, clean, cool water, that has no odor, and the taste is crisp and perfect. You take a sip at first, because you figure it will be like what you've always had, and that's certainly not anything that you want to gulp down! Never having experienced anything else, there's no reason for you to believe that this water will be better, but you try it, because you can see this person is CONVINCED, and there MIGHT be some truth to it, it just might be as good as they seem to think. But, they tell you, you've got to get it now, because I don't know how much more I can get. They had been looking for it for a long time, you find, and it finally arrived. Now they are sharing it with everyone they can, and the response has been enough to convince others to come and try it. This water IS really really good.
The problem is that great care is needed to keep the stream flowing, and once the water gets contaminated in any way, it will eventually effect all of it, and the result will become tainted like what everyone else in the world has. Someone had a germ on their hands while they were bringing it to the masses, and the damage was done. It spread quickly, before anyone even realized it. Sadly, this is often the case when humans are involved in something so wonderful: being human leaves room for us to err.
So, this leaves me in the place where I am today. I have tasted the water, and now I feel like the rest of my life will be spent in search of that stream. I know it exists because I have tasted it and bathed in it. It's memory is singed into my DNA, I guess. So I am going to embark on another journey to find another Spring of Living Water. I have such a thirst, in fact a Dentist told me recently that my saliva glands don't produce as much as they ought. Ironic, isn't it? My mouth and my heart feel dry, really dry, so often.
In case this sound like it has been overly dramatized, it hasn't. I've looked over the words to be sure, and as God helps me, this is the truth.
Just another addict seeking MORE. But now it's about finding more of the ONE who satisfies. I've tried everything else. Nothing else fills that God-sized hole.
Thanks for reading.