So often I feel that if I am not engaging with church this says lots about my relationship with God. While this can be true, I need to remember that this isn’t always the case, and to not beat myself up about it. Where else are we expected to go and just listen to someone talking? We often sit in rows, and are expected not to interact with each other and if we do, it is minimal interaction. What about all the different learning styles we have? What about that God is an amazing God who gave us our senses and everyday gives us opportunities to glimpse who he is through our senses in everyday life. If this is the case shouldn’t we be using them more not less when we choose to deliberately engage in praise and interaction with God?
Often when life is tough, as Christians we are reminded of the verse “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We are encouraged to see that God knows what is happening and what we need. We apply to very specific situations, to make us as individuals feel better. Yet if we look at the whole passage we see that it is not written to an individual but to a whole nation. We also see that it is a long term promise, it is not about it all being alright now, it is written to those in a difficult situation, telling them how to get on with life now, and also looking to the future. Many of those hearing the message wouldn’t have been around to see the fullfilment.
Often as Christians we are so busy thinking about ourselfs as individuals we forget that God’s plans are the best not just for us but for others, and see the big picture. We are so busy wanting it to be right for us now that we don’t see the big picture.
I wrote the following post yesterday, but owing to technology related issues have only just got round to posting it.
I have both dyslexia and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) which means that sometimes I struggle more than other times. At the moment church feels a little like saying to someone who is in a wheelchair, because they can’t walk (as opposed to because they have difficulty walking) there’s this brilliant party why don’t you come, I’m sure you’ll love it. The person in the wheelchair isn’t sure if parties are usually there thing, there’s lots of dancing, but on the other hand they like music, and often do some wheelchair dancing, which is fun. So they decide to go. On arrival at the party they find that it is upstairs, and they think how I’m going to get in. But somebody says no problem, we haven’t got a life (which would be easy) but we have got a stair lift. With great effort the person transfers themselves to the stairlift, because noone knows how to help, or if they do they ignore them. Having made a great effort they get to the party, but already they are feeling the music better be good. They wheel themselves into the room, and yes there is music that they like being played, most people ignore them, but a few people chat to them. After a few minutes the DJ announces that they want everyone on the dance floor dancing. The person in the wheelchair, while feeling self conscious decides to give it a go, and for a few minutes is happily dancing, when an announcement is made, “we are sorry but no wheelchairs on the dance floor” reluctantly they leave the dancefloor, when another announcement is made, “those sat around the edge, obviously don’t want to enjoy the music so will be issued with ear plugs that must be worn” The next time there is a party the person decides that after the last experience they don’t want to go, and in response instead of people seeing how they can help the person, and make it a better experience, they are made to feel guilty, and like they should make more of an effort.
Not all the time but this is often how I feel about church. Often with great determination I keep going, because it’s not always like this, but some times I know in advance I’m going to feel like this and I debate between ending up feeling guilty for not going, and feeling totally left out if I go.