Sunday, February 19, 2006

How Things Play Themselves Out...

As I write this entry, my eyes are struggling to stay open. I feel like I could sleep for 20 hours straight, but when I lie down to get some shuteye, I can't fall asleep. Oh well, no sense in complaining. It won't get me anywhere anyway... I woke and had to hurry to get to church which is 30 miles (50 km) away. What is normally a 1/2 an hour's drive was shortened into a 20 minute cruise. I know better, but didn't want to be late. The church I go to is pretty cool. It's a church geared towards 'unchurched' people. Not your grandparents church by any means. I know that I'm in the right place when the church's band onstage, rocks harder than any bar band that I've seen in the last 12 years... and I'm NOT KIDDING!!! I was raised Catholic and I do not (nor will I) say anything bad about that church. It fufills many people. I have many friends that are Catholic. It didn't fufill me. But the place I go to worship now is a place that changed my life greatly. I'm a 41 year-old goof ball who still enjoys acting like a 12 year-old from time to time. And for the first time in my entire life, I actually look forward to going to church. I've been going to my church for over 3 years now and I enjoy it more and more. The first time I walked in to the church, I saw a bunch of volunteers that were greeting people and being extremely helpful... without being pushy. I was expecting a bunch of 'Jesus Freaks' who were going to smile at me and say 'Jesus loves you' and then try to reach for my money. I was expecting to be 'preached at' and be told how awful I was as a sinner. All these notions were destroyed when after hearing the band onstage do a serious kick-butt version of 'Over the hills and far away' from Led Zeppelin... Yeah, you heard me right... LED ZEPPELIN in CHURCH!!! Then after some more conventional contemporary christian fare, there were some video presentations and then the pastor walked out to talk to the people... in blue jeans??? Yep, in jeans... The whole message for that day was about realizing that we are all human. We make mistakes, we feel pain and we all react differently. And the pastor told of numerous examples of how imperfect we are. What convinced me this was the place for me was that he didn't talk about OTHERS who had problems in their private life. Nope, he talked about his OWN. "Just because I am "a pastor" at church does not mean that I don't have a reality that includes personal problems." I've been going there ever since. I've laughed hysterically, I've shed a tear or two. I've been upset, and I've marveled about the wonders of what can happen to a life when all seems lost. I had to take a risk... I had to risk thinking and feeling differently. To allow my heart to be touched and risk being hurt... I don't know about any of you but for sooooo many years, I always associated 'risk' with 'losing' and 'pain' But I've since learned that if you don't risk, you can't laugh, and if you can't laugh, you can't cry. And if you can't cry, then you can't feel. And if you can't feel, You can't really be happy, and if you can't be happy... NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!
My email client decided to take a deuce so those of you that have e-mailed me and wondered why I haven't responded... well... oh happy day... hahahaha....

4 comments:

Jackson said...

wow, that was such an awesome post! It seems we agree on churchs :) The church I attend is in transformation. I'm not sure where it will end up but if I had my pick it would be like your's! It is a very small community here though and in the middle of nowhere so it probably won't be that radical. Here not many are unchurched except for the extremely poor so that's who we're trying to reach with 2 missions at local houseing projects. Virgie, the girl on my blog lives at one of the projects. I work at one of the missions and it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.

You remind me of a minister friend down in South Florida who share your vision of what church should be. His church rocks! If it was only closer I'd be there!

Ophelia said...

It's so different here. Also people are different, so I cannot tell you if I would like that kind of church. I was an active parishioner before the tragedy (you know which). But I was left alone with my sorrow. That's one reason I'm keeping distance to those people now. You're an exception.

Mik said...

Oh my dearest Ophelia,
It is exactly your very situations that are why I pray you seek a church where they will accept you as you are. That is what saved me from myself. I don't know anything about what churches there are in Finland. If the church where you went left you feeling condemned. Find another church where you can be an active member. There are places on line that will help you if you want to go that route. The biggest reason for keeping the faith in God is because by believing in something greater than yourself, you don't have to be alone... Did it occur to you that the reason I'm an exception is because I (as a Christian) do not judge you. I'm not perfect either. Some Christians have this holier than thou attitude. Maybe that's what you were dealing with in your Church. But I don't want to be that way. Don't stay distant from God... your pain is consuming you... Keep the faith. don't give up on God... He won't give up on you...

Ophelia said...

I don't know if I was condemned. I was my huge sorrow that drove people away. But I still need to keep distance. I'll tell you more about it later. Not yet.

Thanks, anyway!