Awkward Turtle Swims Away

While it's often fun, and sometimes beneficial to leave things hanging, it's also helpful to resolve things from time to time.  Thus, this is a follow up to my last post, Awkward Turtle Goes to Church.

I stand by the statement getting together with other believers for specifically sacred moments is often awkward. Even when I dive in head first, contribute, prepare myself for it, and things going really well –even after 26 years of being in a church almost every Sunday, it still often feels–weird, uncomfortable, awkward. Bible studies, prayer groups, church services, special meetings, whatever, with very rare exception, there is a tension present.

I think there are a lot of reasons for this: church structure aimed at baby boomers, the severe individualism of myself and the rest of our culture, my own insecurities, a consumer approach to spirituality, etc. The reasons are both inside and outside of my being and control.

But it doesn't tempt me to give up. Getting together with other believers is in itself a sacred exercise, no matter what the format. In all the awkwardness I am reminded–I need to be reminded–that very little of this is about me. As Donald Miller recently tweeted, "Once we understand our story is just a subplot, our lives make more sense." So while I do have a responsibility to add a dynamic to the story God is telling, Victorian literature has made it profoundly clear how obnoxious over-developed sub-plots are, even in one of my favorites: Les Miserables.

So until I drop dead I will probably keep interacting with the awkward tensions as I try to chase down the sort of unity in the body that will only fully come after I drop dead.