Sunday, July 13, 2008

Feelings


Somehow I grew up to believe that my job was to survive life. I saw my life as a series of trials to get through punctuated (hopefully short sentences) with some good times. I had good reason to believe that. It seemed that I had more than my share of heartache and loss by the time I was twenty two. I wanted something better but the life of abundance seemed to be something others had.

If you live with those assumptions, it isn’t a far stretch to believe that it would be best to get through the crisis and loss with the least amount of emotion possible. What would be the point of feeling all of that deeply? In some ways it doesn’t make sense to engage deep emotion if you don’t believe in God. If you don’t believe in God there is no anchor, no refuge, no safe harbor, and no safety net.

I decided not long after I became a Christian that one of the ways I wanted to live differently was to feel more deeply. Believing in God gave me the courage to do that. Slowly I came out of numbness. It hasn’t been easy but it is better.

Cult


This morning I was watching a documentary about a cult that existed in Quebec and Ontario in the seventies. One of the experts described the process of getting pulled into a cult. He said that members often tell him about a conversion experience. They feel instantly welcome and different than they have felt before. In their hearts they crave more of it. They ask for a next step. They will do anything to keep having their experience.

When I think about church I often struggle with the fact that I am not necessarily feeling an instant connection and intimacy. It is work to be part of a church. I crave the feeling of being part of the group. I want to be part of something that pulls me in. Something that makes me want to take the next step. Sound familiar? I think in a lot of ways I have been looking for an experience that would only be satisfied by a cult. How scary is that?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Anxious


Last week was challenging for me. No there was not a crisis at work. I wasn’t even extremely busy. It was just a bunch of little things that challenged my feeling of peace. I have been feeling overwhelmed by life lately. I don’t know why.

After I had surgery I remember thinking that the little stuff would never get to me again. For weeks I had that perspective. I let the little stuff go. However it was also a struggle sometimes because most things didn’t seem to matter. It was difficult to re-engage work when you have the perspective that only life-threatening events really matter.

I have found myself back into work. I think I am taking a balanced perspective. I have found it a lot less frustrating lately. I have let go of a lot. I have a great week at the end of June. I remembered why I enjoy my job. I felt like I had contributed something meaningful.

Last weekend I posted about feeling distant from God. I tried to spend time in prayer but I couldn’t really settle down enough to feel connected. So I read the Bible. I read for quite a while but I settled on Psalm 91. I have been trying to read the first part of it out loud before I go to sleep:

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare of the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I am trusting him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from the fatal plague.
4 He will shield you with his wings.
He will shelter you with his feathers.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor fear the dangers of the day,
6 nor dread the plague that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.