Okay, so let me just say that today was one of “those” days. Don’t know why. Entirely not sure. Just one of those days. I think it was because of some music I listened to. There’s this really cool local band called Iver (they’re on iTunes…check them out!) and their music is absolutely enchanting. It’s kind of about the perfect love story.
That kind of made me bitter. Actually, my friend tells me I’m bitter about this whole thing anyway, and should probably confess it, but the music made me think more about fitting in than being in love I guess. I mean, they kind of go together, but the larger issue I think is fitting in.
Fitting in is an issue with me, because I really just don’t lately. In “Blue Like Jazz,” Donald Miller makes a comment about how he had become the person he should have been instead of the person he really was. The way God made me, with the passions and gifts that He gave me, tends to be perceived by many people as odd. Let’s face it, any creative personality, whether it is a writer, painter, musician, whatever, tends to be misunderstood. I guess the crisis that I’m having is twofold, but it all comes down to my church. Because I don’t fit in there. I’m perceived as being some kind of liberal freak by some, misled by others, and overall just confused and unfortunate. A great deal of it is because I’m single, which is totally unheard of and almost illegal when you’re past 25 or so in the modern evangelical church. People look at me like there’s something wrong with me because I’m single, and think that I’m suffering from some kind of psychosocial dysfunction. The bottom line is I haven’t found a girl who thinks like me and shares the same passions as me yet, and so I won’t settle. (Well, I’m happy to report that I may be getting closer…) But that also means that I’m ostracized from most church social programming, I don’t get invited out to dinner with groups of “friends” because everyone else is married or at least engaged, my phone doesn’t ring a lot on weekends with the exception of a few of my fellow single friends. We’re the wierd people who should be praying more or something because we’re not with someone. We’re the people who are the recipients of unwanted sympathy in the eyes of our fellow congregants because we’re different. We’re the ones involved in the joke that most churches call a singles ministry.
No one there sees things like me. They don’t think like me. Their perception is completely different.
Now, there has been good come from this, because I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps pastoral ministry really isn’t my thing, and that I should probably concentrate on other avenues of ministry. Which is totally cool with me. But it’s a little frustrating to be looked down upon because I’m in a different place in life than they are, and because they don’t understand the creative impulse, mostly because they’re too closed-minded to believe that God works in different methods than they’re used to.
I acutally had someone tell me that we aren’t supposed to factor experience into anything at all, because experience is affected by sin-tainted emotions, and therefore is totally unreliable. This person inferred that they only thing we can rely on is logic. Talk about circular arguments…
So this is the source of my frustration, and the cause for my seriously considering leaving my church in the new year. That may sound somewhat trite or unimportant to most, but it’s a serious thing for me, because I take my church family seriously. To move into a new family is a huge deal for me.
Anyway, I guess my point is to be open-minded, because Believers tend not to be. I don’t mean allow a post-modern digression in your theology, I mean be accepting, and be willing to believe that God will use different things, and be active in different people.
I don’t know how I got there from where I started, but oh well. It’s been a long day, so I guess I’ve had time. But, hey…at least it’s the weekend!