Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Retreat Revelations Part 2

I've read so many books about community. I hear stories of community and I so long for something more. I want to be a part of a group that really, deeply loves each others, shares meals and family together. Enjoys each other and knows each other.

I have concluded that in this area it's impossible. We simply don't have time to get to know each other. There are so many demands on our time: Family, friends, kids activities, homework, grocery shopping, laundry, dinner preparation, even church can sometimes get in the way.

I love my church but have to say that even though prayer is always offered, after church is not a conducive time for community and being open. I was reading a book about internet church and most of the objections about the church online are objections that may not be obvious in "real life" church but are indeed present.

One such concept is masks. It's really easy, accepted and perhaps even assumed, that people aren't really who they appear to be online. Likewise, I think that people also wear masks in "real church"..... yet I wonder at times if it's deliberate; I wonder if it's just not a conducive place to be "real" and open.

When I was in jr. high I was part of a drama team. We did a sketch about going to church. A typical family headed to church. The mom and dad fighting, kids in the back fighting as well. Actually, my bible study leader shared this VIDEO from the Desiring God website with us last year; It's about James 3 and it just hits me.

Why is it that the ride to church can sometimes be so difficult? Unkind words? Short tempers? Some would blame satan; I don't know that to think of that. I just know that it's so easy to be so wrapped up in getting out the door that one doesn't behave very Christ-like on the way to praise Christ! How can this be? It's not a common occurrence in our house but I bet most families have experienced the same at least once. And once at church, do you plaster a smile on your face and pretend everything is great? Or is one supposed to pray, put it behind you and focus on God, but again, never acknowledge the struggle? There was one time I freely admitted a difficulty in getting to church, my frustration with my family. The other couple looked at me with pity and horror; I think they put me on Marriage Watch, certain mine was in trouble, needing intervention at any time.

I don't want to wear masks to church; I want to be open yet I don't think it's wrong to be selective in what and who one shares with. I wonder at times if that is considered cliquish. I wonder if it's okay to share only a certain side to most people, and yet the truth is not everyone cares. Not everyone wants to know of one's struggles.

This weekend was a wonderful weekend but I realized that there is no perfect community. People like who they like; are drawn to some more than others. It's just how it is. I am quite foolish to expect much more than this. So, knowing this; that most of the people that one sees only on Sundays at church are people one will only see on Sunday, is it wrong to be selective or wear a mask?

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