Monday, May 17, 2004

Rains just had a 4:30 a.m. blog and I guess its my turn (its 4:27 presently). Woke up at 3:44 a.m. with many thoughts in my head and I suppose internal pressures I'm feeling. I'm going to be very unspecific about the context of my thoughts and just say how I'm feeling. I'm in a place where I'm not sure what to do. I have a myriad of directions and options I could take, and I honestly don't know which road to take. Not knowing what to do is very unsettling. I've been in cruise control for quite some time and I've been liking that. It has helped me get grounded and really pay attention to my family. But I sense changes on the horizon and for the first time in my life, I'm apprehensive about it. I used to thrive on change, bring it to every situation I found myself in. But I also used to have an addiction to success and was never satisfied or ever content. I never experienced the peace of Christ and the simplicity of walking in Him. But now I have. Now I have learned to run the race of the turtle, sure and steady. Its not very exciting, but Matrix-like, it slows the world down enough to where you begin to see things you never saw before. A contemplative life, being a suburban monk in mindset, opens my eyes to the access points of the Kingdom that I never saw before and now can experience. But I sense that my little comfort zone is changing and I don't like it. It feels unsettling.
As I survey my life, many things are going quite well, and some things need fixing. What to do, what to do? Which path to take?
I'm still reflecting on my experience in this genre of church planting known as house churches or simple churches or organic churches or missional communities and would continue to say that I am converted for life. But I have this critique, we have a hard time getting over our pain and loss in traditional church structures. I have heard so much lately of bitterness coming out of my mouth and others that I recognize is purely flesh serving flesh. We major in proclaiming what we're not about. But what about the Gospel? What about the transforming power of Christ amongst us accompanied by the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit? What about being governed by the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control? I am wondering if my own bitterness is stifling the life of Christ and the presence of the Spirit in gatherings I lead. Because within me is a river of depth and spiritual power that I hardly ever access because I fall into default roles of sarcasm and fear of intimacy. And the very idea of being serious about spiritual ministry just conjures up images of past abuses. unauthentic christianity, programs and bad experiences I didn't trust. So the baby has gone out with the bathwater? We reform not towards Christ and him setting captives free, but we simply reform away from trad. church. (please note that I'm talking about my own experiences, many of you out there may have found a much more healthy deal) I am comfortable leading conversations (which is most of what I do presently) but I long to use other gifts God has given me that seem to have no place in the movement known as "not being institutional church". And I wonder anymore if me not using these gifts is a help or a hindrance to seeing God's Kingdom amongst us. At some point you have to decide what you're about and give it a shot, regardless of what others think. I pray that the church that is emerging will have the maturity to be more than "not my father's oldsmobile".

Stop and notice the Kingdom today.


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