Confession: I haven’t been to church since the Easter vigil. I don’t know if I would have gone either if I didn’t go for a friend who was joining the Church. Why doesn’t it appeal to me and why do I think I have to like doing something in order to do it? (not unlike my laundry). I can hear my undergrad professor right now talking about how community is about each of us showing up, whether we want to or not, and relying on each other. It’s not all about me. And I won’t always be in this ‘dry place’ either.
Maybe I’m sick of religion. I work in it every day and I’m not so inclined to do anything church related in my time off. Let me do something light and fun (as though I can’t be light and fun with God?). Sounds like spiritual fatigue to me. Or I could just be sick of my religion. It’s possible that the Church has become irrelevant to me and I get so much more from a good sleep or my faith-sharing group than church. It’s disheartening to hear ‘safe’ sermons or experience lackluster liturgies. Maybe I just hate going alone, and hate not being a part of a community. I see community happening all around me and I yearn to be a part, but, for some reason, I don’t feel like I belong. Or maybe I’m dealing with “existential anxiety” and questions about God being within us all and also an entity outside of us that we go and worship. When I have a whopper of a question such as that I have a hard time not acknowledging it all of the time, annoying as that may be to me.
As a relational type person I commune with God by talking with people, especially one on one, connecting deeply with the concerns and experiences of others, and having them minister to me by caring and listening to me as well. It doesn’t get any better for me than that in this world. The concrete human experience of the Divine nature. And maybe I’m over-analyzing (or maybe that’s a certainty) but that’s what I’ve been trained to do and it’s hard to turn it off. It’s difficult to live in two worlds, one where God is one, and one where God is all.
I know I’m supposed to know how to make sense of such questions and phases in life, especially as a chaplain who tries to help others with their own spiritual life. But I think this may be one of those areas of learning that I’m comfortable just admitting that I’m young, and although I’m on the journey, there are just some things I don’t know yet (or may never know). It actually feels good to have that pressure off of me, as I trust the process, and let things be. Maybe I just need to go, get acquainted and involved with a community. It can’t happen unless I try. Then these questions surrounding the mysteries of our faith, although they will not disappear, will be easier to carry with a community by my side. That’s the amazing part about community– transitions and transformations happen just because we are journeying together.
Maybe I just answered my question.