I have something really important to talk about, but first I must tell you all about my newest love, The Marble Mocha Macchiato, from Starbucks. I don't like white chocolate, but damn if I can't get enough of this drink. Tastes like sophisticated hot chocolate with an uptown twist. Or in my own terms...It is DAMN tasty.
**Brutal honesty on my part here. If I offend anyone, well so be it. This may not all make sense to you and really it doesn't have to. It is more for me**
The bible study that I am currently doing as well as a few things that have been discussed in church recently, has all lead up to a confession of sorts for me. It has gotten me thinking in terms of, "Am I satisfied in my Christian walk?". Now, I think if we are every truly satisfied with our walk then we have just stopped growing. I have heard many people who have been believers and in the church for a long period of time talk about Spiritual Burnout. I have witnessed this burnout in people close to me. I am reaching a point of burnout. Now to clarify, I am not burned out of CHRIST! I truly believe that if you have fallen in love with him, TRULY fallen, than it is a hard thing to ever fall out. However, we all have stumbling blocks that pop up along the way in our faith journey. We all have certain weaknesses as humans and Satan is right there waiting for the opportune moment to exploit those weaknesses. Most of the blame falls solely on our own shoulders. We are fallen people, and we keep falling down.
It is easy in the Christian community when you are having a HIGH season with the Lord to look around and have pity on the poor pitiful saps that are not as holy as you. I see people everyday in the church that look down their noses at those that are not doing things perfectly as Christians. Of course we all know that those higher and mightier Christians are just as sinful as we lowly folk. They just mask it with volunteer work and Christian-ese talk. It is also easy for us to look around during our low seasons with the Lord and see these "Super-Christians" and feel that we are, indeed, less than them. They must somehow love Christ more than us. They have some secret potion that we do not. We forget of course, that they are human and struggle as we do. Some of us are just better at hiding it than others.
I have come to realize that some of my hang-ups and habits are getting worse and not better in the past few months. Realization is an important step, but means nothing without acceptance and repentance. Changing is the MOST important step, not to mention the hardest. Some of my hang-ups may not seem to be a big deal to many. But they are to me. I feel they are holding me back in my relationship with Jesus. As far as I am concerned, that is as big of a deal as you can get. For accountability purposes I feel the need to put these out into the open and see how I feel about others, especially those close to me, knowing my thought process on this. I am only going to discuss one thing at a time. So it may take me a month to get these all out.
Worship: One definition I found (Starting Point Study Bible-NIV) "True worship overflows from our hearts & minds. Our entire lives should reflect our worship."
My life reflects very little of my heart for God. I am so sad about that. The one outward manifestation of this inner conflict that I can think of is how I am at church. My faith background before adulthood consisted of very NON-charismatic church experiences mixed in throughout my life; mostly small town Baptist church and small town Church of Christ. Now, because of my youth and lack of knowledge I missed a lot about these churches. I am not trying to say that these churches were not great churches. I am just saying my worldview of Christianity was somewhat small. Once I became an adult and found myself seeking Christ I realized how very little I actually knew. It was a daunting task for me to set out and find a church home for the first time. I didn't know what exactly I was looking for. I didn't want to be one of those church hoppers that are looking for the church to fulfill their every need. I knew that was not the answer as only Christ can do that. I knew that the stoic churches that I had attended didn't feel right and that I felt pulled in other directions. However, I had inner conflict about this. On the same level that I felt that something was lacking in worship I had been exposed to, I also felt highly uncomfortable around "the freaks". You know the people who raised their hands in church *gasp*. They were just making a spectacle of themselves in my mind. I mean, that wasn't right. Church was supposed to be a very somber place. As I began seeking out a church for myself and my kids I felt the pull to the freaks.
That is not stoic worship. When I walked into my church in Lubbock for the first time I immediately felt something. When the praise and worship music started my hands shot into the air, my heart leapt with joy tears were streaming down my face.
Fast forward to now...my hands are back down by my side. There is no outward show of emotion. This is not my church's fault. There are all kinds of people at my church, the stoics, the over the top charismatic, the altar worshiper...all kinds. I am truly not sure why it is so different for me now. I still want to wave my hands in the air. What is that I am feeling? Embarrassment? WHY???? Why should I be embarrassed about praising the God that has given me life? When I am home alone & I play my P&W music I dance, I sing LOUD, I raise my hands, I cry. Why is it difficult now in church?
I really don't have an answer for you, but I am determined to find the answer and to eliminate that roadblock.