Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Still Looking

I Haven't Found What I Am Looking For

We Christian folk often like to boast that, through our clean and shiny faith, we have found the final answers to all of lifes stress and problems.

We have happy, smiling lives, free from pain, free from struggle. We are victorious. We even make more money than most, because we subtly belive that God is blessing us. And if we do have "challenges", they are short lived and have a happy ending.

To this I say, baloney.

If my almost 49 years have taught me much of anything, it is that the struggle, the striving, the searching, in many ways, never stops. Its unavoidable. Its life. And guess what else? Following Jesus often makes the journey harder in some ways. A friend of mine wisely says that the Christian life is "living life on purpose, not just letting it happen to you". She is right. We have a dear friend who lost her battle with cancer several years ago. Her death was brutal, unpleasant, and not like a happy ending to a movie. She knew Jesus better than just about anyone I know, and she did not go peacefully. It was very messy.

We likely won't even find the perfect setting in which our faith can grow and be nurtured, with all the dials adjusted perfectly to our own wants and needs. In this regard, I often feel like a Presbyterian Catholic Baptist Emergent Post Evangelical Nondenominational Episcopalian, or something similar. I often feel confused, like I am a couple blocks from home in a dream, and can't quite make that last turn around the corner that gets me back.

And so, I have not yet found the perfect church setting. I am attracted to many things across the Christian spectrum, from the ancient liturgy of the Catholics, to the focus on the Eucharist of the Episcopalians, to the get-you-all-wet-because-you-really-mean-it dunking of the Baptists. I often find myself repelled by the Committee-centric mindset of my own dear Presbyterians, and yet I love the open way that people from my own tradition love others, regardless of where they have come from.

I am tired sometimes of the only "getting you saved" mentality of many evangelicals, but many of my best friends and most admired role models come from there. It seems to me that Jesus had much more in mind for his Kingdom than "getting people in". He wanted to come and live with them, everyday. How intrusive!

And so, you see, I still haven't found what I am looking for. Its ok, though. I am on the way there. I just wanted to take a minute and be honest. My life is no less messy than yours. Just providing full disclosure.
Next, why I am staying where I have been put, and why need to love the messy people God has placed me with....
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