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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Little Church.

“God had only one Son and he made that Son a missionary.” ~David Livingston

Some lessons you never forget.

I remember being told once, by a man who would know, that he had seen churches pray & pray for revival & when it came they didn't recognise it & the very people it was granted to refused the gift because it was not what they expected.  How sad is that?

I have been thinking about that because I have been struggling.  We wanted a church ~ one that met certain criteria: biblical, gifts operating, service oriented, spirit filled, prayerful....because we've had a gut~full & then some of the half~baked nonsense that passes for Christianity in some parts.  In the process I forgot to factor in me!

I know certain things about me.  I know I am sound sensitive & so for most of my life I have tuned out extraneous noise: screaming kids; the t.v; the radio; background chatter.  As I have got older & have begun getting deaf I have become lazier because it requires a great deal of effort to hear certain sounds, certain pitches.  [Choir is exhausting because I have to concentrate so hard on what I have been busily ignoring for decades!!!]  Consequentially I recieve most of my information visually.  It is my primary learning style & I rely heavily on the use of my eyes to process information.

For the greater part of my life this has not been a problem when it came to church.  Quaker worship takes place in almost total silence.  If the silence is broken it is one sound, very quiet & considered dropped into the pool of silence like a small stone.  Otherwise I have been in very small country churches.  Twenty people max, Sunday morning.  The old hymns, which require no effort on my part to sing because I have known them all my life.  Very little hustle & bustle because it is the elderly who attend.

Now we are attending a larger church.  It meets all our critea.  What's more I got such a jolt of confirmation in my spirit when it's home page popped up on my computer screen I have never doubted that it is where we are to be for the moment.  And I hate it.

Too sad.

For one thing it is huge. 500 people easily at a Sunday morning service!  Can you imagine what that does to little backwater me?!  I get so claustrophobic.  The music is awful.  I don't know what key they generally choose to sing in but it's one I just can't pitch to at all ~ so I'm thinking F & it is like caterwauling because only the band ever manages to be on pitch!  Being in small sedate churches I have not had to worry about custody of the eyes ~ isn't that a lovely term?  Now I do.  With people bib~bobbing all over the place, even dancing up & down the aisles, I am visually over stimulated & most definitely not thinking about God.

The preaching is wonderful!  Honestly, I study & all too often I get frustrated because there is no meat to the sermon.  I have met my match! lol I come away refreshed, renewed & with something to think about & ponder for the whole of the week ~ so why on earth am I grizzling?  Because it's not what I expected!

I cannot see how I can contribute.  I do not feel I have anything to offer but I have not been allowed to fade obscurely into the background.  This has thrown me off~balance & consequentially made me very bad tempered.  When I get bad tempered I sulk. [Yes, I am sulking at God. ssssh.]     
when every face is a stranger's face I feel incredibly threatened & insecure.  Nope, not a people person.  Not at all.  Every person I meet is a potential Jack~the~Ripper.  I bet you didn't know that about me!  Seriously, I walk around town with my bag weighed down with books because I figure I can swing it like a weapon if need be!

God has been patiently waiting for me to break cover. *sigh*  It is getting better.  People are very kind & friendly.  Some faces are becoming familiar.  I am finding ways to cope with the size, the noise, the visual stimulation.  I am hanging on like grim death because I also know other things; things the Lord has shown me.  This is a church that is intent on preparing its people to bring in the harvest.  It is an End Times church prepared to "run a rescue mission within a yard of hell." ~ as C.T. Studd so happily expressed it.  It is a church that not only outreaches but disciples.  Biblically it is doing everything right.  I am not.  Working on it ~ but my flesh is screaming. Whoever thought church was such hard work!


seekingmyLord said...

Not what you expected? Expectations ALWAYS cause problems, don't they? I think it is a tendency to look for churches that fit us rather than trust God to place us in the church He wants for us to be in because that is not a promise of comfort, but a blessing of what you really need in spite of your thoughts on the matter...and you will be blessed.

I am in the process of writing a post about my own church too. I wish it was just about a little discomfort.

Ganeida said...

lol I am supremly thankful it is not yet another church that is in *sin*!!!! I just have to adjust, always hard.

Joyfulmum said...

well, I'm glad you're starting to find it easier at this church:) takes time esp in a bigger church which sounds like it's doing some good things!

Ganeida said...

Rosemary: I am sure it is difficult for many to grasp just how hard this is when A. you are not a people person & used to numbers under a dozen & B.when you aren't a practical sort ~ which I'm not. You have no idea how much I envy my very practical children some days because they breeze this stuff. For me it is a struggle & yet it is exactly ther ight church for us now. *sigh*