Monday, September 29, 2014

I think God made me so he'd have someone to laugh at

It's no secret that I'm really good at doing stupid things. I seem to have a gift for it. So the other day, I read about the iPhone auto-correct prank. Now, in our household all the apple devices are connected, and I figured out that I could change Shane's phone from my Ipad.

It started off as harmless enough, I changed the word 'yes' to 'no' and the word 'please' to 'monkeys'.... silly funny stuff. We had fun, and then it kind of escalated.... and I may have changed the word 'Shane' to a very bad word indeed. Shane then changed the word 'Robyn' to the words 'I'll give it any way you like.' (Yes, we are inappropriately minded teenagers at heart) It was terrible, but it was funny, and it was only ever supposed to be between us.

But, of course, a few days later I sent an email to my pastor, just a trivial two line email. And as I typed the word 'Robyn' at the end of the email and pressed send, I watched in horror as I realised that the words at the bottom of the email did not say 'Robyn' but 'I'll give it any way you like'. I was stricken with horror at what I had just done, and spent several minutes trying to think about how I could change it. I had just told my pastor, my pastor, "I'll give it any way you like!!" But you know, email, once sent cannot be unsent. I called Shane, who just about killed himself laughing, and he helped me word another email of apology that I sent off straight away.

Sometimes I just shouldn't be allowed to do.... anything.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Too much information

There can be a mentality in the pentecostal church today that you have to "give your all!" "Go Hard!" "Give God all you've got!" and it is true. But maybe also, kind of not? I think the message gets a bit garbled at times, I'm not sure who's fault that is. I want to give God my all, I think he deserves it. But there are different kinds of all to give. Sometimes, if you push, and push, and push, eventually something breaks. Say you have a car, and you're driving along fine. But suddenly you make it go faster than it was supposed to go, you're revving it up, and expecting so much of it, and while you're doing that you don't add things like oil, or water or anything like that, you just keep putting the minimum amount of care into it. Eventually that motor is going to get fried. If you'd kept the car at a steady speed, and given it regular thorough maintenance, it could have gone so much longer,  and so much further. But you didn't, and now it's going to take a whole new motor just to get that thing going. 

There are an awful lot of burnt out people in our churches. And out of them. I'm kind of one of them, and my husband really is. About 6 months ago, we were the music directors at our church. Now we aren't, and he's not coming to church. And it's breaking my heart. I hate it. I am still going to church with the kids. But I miss him, oh I miss him. I hate going to church without him. I hate wrestling the kids by myself, and I hate not seeing him do music, because he really loves it, and its one of those things he was created to do, you know? I must admit, there's a fair bit of wounded pride in there too. It's not super fun going to church without your spouse, I guess because it's such an definite outward display of imperfection, and whether we acknowledge it or not, there is a shiny shiny mask that we wear at church. Maybe we feel like we are letting God down if we acknowledge our imperfections? I'd be lying if I said I didn't care about what people think.

There are a lot of details involved, and I won't go into them. Mostly because it's not my story to tell. But the way it affects me is. One of the ladies at church told Mum she thinks I am so courageous to keep going to church without him. The truth is, this isn't courage. It's desperation. Where else would I go?

I have been made aware of so many of the faults in us Christians. I've learned so many things about myself in the last few years. Ugly things that I wish weren't true. If you'd asked me not too long ago, if I was a judgmental person, I wouldn't have thought so. But I was. I used to look down on Christians who didn't go to church. I thought they either fell into one of two categories, the spiritual fruitcake variety who take offense at every little thing, and the uncommitted variety, who don't put in enough effort. I didn't understand a lot of things. I still don't. But I understand a little more now.

I am so tired. Tired of judging and being judged. I am tired of spiritual people who are always right, who say they never fight with their spouse, who say one thing and do another,  who don't understand so much. I am tired of the people who demand more and more and more, and they don't care. Their strength makes me feel less strong.

But still, I think (think) it is best to go to church. To accept the fragility and imperfections of the Christians around me, the same way I accept my own. To try, even when it hurts. It's a real process of not letting bitterness get a hold of you, and I'm still trying to figure it out. It's a fine line, authenticity. You want to be real, not a fake happy-clappy person who has less depth than a teaspoon. But you don't need every Tom, Dick and Harry to see your raw pain. I'm trying to walk the line. I keep overbalancing, this way and that, going too far in one direction and then too far in the other. But I hold onto the fact this it is God's church. 

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