You know, it’s funny how the most unexpected source of reading can impact your decisions.
I mentioned in an old post, I think it was in July or August, that I had made an unpleasant decision and was moving on to the next step. But that next step has been hanging me up a bit. Not in an unpleasant way, but in an I’m-nervous-about-making-the-same-mistake way but I’m working myself up to a decision. Of course, part of it has been 1) I traveled a lot last fall, so I could legitimately put it off for a while and 2) I needed to heal a bit before moving on. Time passing has done some of that healing, which is why I’ve been on the verge of making a decision, but I’ve still been feeling nervous. Why? Well, I have some concerns but have been realizing that the questions I want answered are quite possibly the wrong questions to ask. That’s why I’ve kept my mouth shut about them.
Now, just to give some background, I’m a Christian, from Protestant roots, and all of these problems have been related to which congregation I choose to attend.
So, you would think that the blogs I would read would all be of the same “denomination” as I, or at least Protestant in focus. Ironically, I’ve yet to find a good one that I would want to read, though I have looked. (Maybe God doesn’t want me to read those right now?) Instead, my blog drifting has led me to subscribe to a small number of blogs, some of which are the Messianic Judaism types and several others which are all Catholic. And while I have fundamental disagreements with quite a bit of their teachings (both types), I have found a certain amount of inspiration in both, including one I’ve just read that actually helps me understand that the problems I was having are real and not just all in my head.
In its own way, my group has its own liberal and conservation worship styles, and I was having problems with the attitudes of the more liberal group. I kept feeling like I was running into a wrong focus and a great deal of selfishness, to the point that I realized I couldn’t worship there anymore. Not that I didn’t love the people or feel that they were not Christians, but that my time of worship wasn’t bringing me any closer to God. My ability to worship had been compromised. The focus on God was off. And since part of the whole point of going to church is to worship God as a group, continuing to attend there is something that had to change.
This doesn’t necessarily answer my questions about where to place membership next, but it does remind me that the decision to leave was right. And it helps me to reframe the questions I’ve been having about my next congregation. Or perhaps, more accurately, give them their proper priority.
God does provide some answers when you least expect it.