Sunday, June 8, 2014

No Boxes Here?

I've been saying for a couple of years now that people need to let God out of the Sunday morning box, that He doesn't want to just be with you for an hour or two on Sunday morning and then put back in His box to sit there until you have an emergency, but He wants to invade your Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. ~Joyce Meyer

I have often stated here on my little corner of the Interverse (that is, my word combination of Internet and universe) that hypocrisy is the most interesting sin of all to me: Mostly, because we all are guilty of it (I am including myself) and blissfully unaware of our guilt and we would rather it remain just that way. I have this unfortunate gift (or curse, depending on your viewpoint) of seeing hypocrisy, even though I am not consciously looking to find any. To me, it is human nature, always there in people, and there is no need for me to seek it just runs amok and smacks into me head-on.

Recently my husband and I both had one of those smack head-on moments. The details of the moment are not important, what is important is the hypocrisy, because it lingers on.

Our church as a whole preaches about following your passion, using your gifts, stepping out of the box, connecting with people and connecting people to God...and to really do it. I love that about our church. We have been there a year now. We talk to people while at church, but we are out of the loop otherwise because we are not on Facebook. We are not the only ones, I know a few people who come regularly who are not on the Internet at all. So, our connections are limited because we are not in the preferred communication box. That should not have stopped anyone reaching out to us and making a connection, like just asking for my phone number and calling now and then, but since Facebook is their style, for them to connect with me, I need to be on Facebook. Of course, they would see that as a convenience for me, not a box that I have to fit in.

What I have found is that it is never a box when you are the one happy in it, but the people outside of it see it as the box that it is.

To be an active church team member we were asked to fill out a form and then a meeting time would be set. We filled out our forms and turn them in back in November. Then there were the holidays and crazy ice storms and such, so after a few reminders and over six months, we had our meeting recently. We were strongly encouraged to go on a retreat and we got the impression that we would not be seriously considered for service in the church until we go to this retreat, which happens only once a year. They see this retreat as a benefit for us, not another box that we have to fit in.

My husband and I have prayed about the retreat and neither one of us feel God's leading for us to go this year, as unbelievable as that may sound to those who have told us how wonderful it is. How could God not want us to go? Although they say that you should not go unless you are ready to go, they just cannot believe that anyone would not be ready. I felt quite a bit of peer pressure from this, but not God's calling. My husband and I came to the conclusion that the retreat would likely benefit us, but even more it would change their opinions of us.

That is because they are so happy, they do not see the box they are wanting us to fit in so that we can be like them, in their minds.

What we have noticed is that the active church team members really only connect on a personal level with each other. Honestly, they are too busy being church "connectors" to connect with those who are not in their box that they are not really in, but we and many others are definitely outside of at the same time.

So, my husband and I after praying have come to the conclusion that we are not going to have a ministry in the church, but we feel our Lord leading us to our ministry being the church. We will be connecting with families and couples and individuals who are both in the box and outside of it. We will not be daunted by any barriers either way. Jesus wasn't, so why should we?

I just think of the early Christians who somehow built churches without technology like Facebook and phones, and I am pretty sure that retreats were not common practice either, but what they did do is have personal relationships with God and with other people. What we have been told is pretty much what we felt from the Lord: It helps everyone there to make connections with each other, but only with those who go. I feel it should not take a retreat for people to get personally involved with each other, but if that is what it takes, I am not against it. I am just wondering why it is so necessary...?

~ My Lord, I know I do not see all of my own hypocrisies, but You do. Forgive me. Forgive us all of our hypocrisies. We are all guilty of them. ~