February 3, 2017 by acontraryspirit
The start of this year is bringing me back to a familiar place. The holidays were beautiful. I was so fortunate to spend so much time with family and friends over the last 8 weeks and I am so thankful for that.
Now that things have settled down, and the anticipation is settling in for our little one to arrive, we are in the waiting game. I find myself in the familiar space of wondering what comes next.
When I am in this space, I start to get tapped on the shoulder again. Maybe it’s god, maybe it’s my muse, whatever you want to call it, I’m not entirely sure. But I do know I get restless.
I start scouring church websites even if I already have a pretty good church that I like to visit every now and then on Sundays.
I start googling terms like ‘dinner churches’ and ‘progressive Christianity’ and I usually stumble across another new book, blog or podcast that gives me someone to listen to who can get me excited about exploring the space of not knowing rather than be afraid of it or condemned for wanting to sit in that space and learn from it.
This is all really great. It is great to find community through media – through books, through audio, through film. But when that is the only place I can be excited about the spiritual nourishment I am finding, is it enough?
The idea of enough lingers in my brain like a mental fog. Was it enough when I was going to church 2 or 3 times a week? Was that really a sustainable way for me to live? Was it a productive way for me to live? Based on where I am now, I would say no. Church became my world and then my world became too small for me.
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I’ve learned
Those roads were closed off to me
While my back was turned…
Sara Groves, “Painting Pictures of Egypt”
So what can I find between my two extremes – Between the support system I’ve built and the tiny church world I miss but know isn’t right for me anymore? How do I create a space between a strong support system of believers and a vacuum of skepticism? Where are my in-betweeners and are they close enough to see in person, to go get coffee with, to read and write with?
New territory is scary. Especially when you think you are done with it. I’m grown. I’m settled. I have a 9 to 5 job. I have a beautiful wife and a child on the way. I have friends. I have my pottery class and my projects around the house and my book club. Why do I feel this urgency to hone in on the things I don’t have figured out…and then to talk to people about them as if they will care what I’m saying?
I’m hungry. But I know looking back isn’t the answer – so how do I move forward? Do I need a physical space and tangible people to be satiated? Or are the communities created across the boundaries of time and space more appropriate for this foray?