Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Riding the Storm Out

My friend Bill wrote me an encouraging email yesterday, expressing his thanks for our friendship and what he referred to as my life outside of what is the church norm. I often feel misunderstood for my move away from the Church As We Know It, and that’s one of my top fears as a communicator, but to hear someone say that the direction I am taking now makes sense to them, that’s a pretty good feeling.

For so long my writing on this blog has been wrapped up in what I am not doing, about what I don’t believe any longer, and reasons why I stopped going to the Church As We Know It. I recently decided that I wanted to steer away from a negative stance to more of a positive one. I had no idea how hard it would be to generate thoughts accordingly.

Regular readers have noticed a lack of posting, and I have to admit that I feel I have very little to say in my new found theme. As a writer it makes me feel inadequate, and I in turn call myself into question, wondering if I really do have anything to say about the Church of the Future.

To lend myself a break, I would guess any true explorer experienced the same vague uncertainty. Pioneers, settlers, astronauts, scientists, entrepreneurs; the list could go on. The one difference in most of these is that what I am exploring has nothing to do with geography and everything to do with an inner journey. They mapped out the frontier, I am still charting my own heart.

I went to the State Fair last night to hear REO Speedwagon, a band I cut my rock-n-roll teeth on in the 70’s. It’s been several years, so I don’t know what triggered this thought, but I asked myself, “Why do I feel so free here?”

It had less to do with the freedom that I could enjoy the music with a cold one in my hand and not fret about being seen by someone at church who would report me back to an elder or other church member and call my integrity into question and recite a scripture about me making someone stumble and me not being concerned about giving an appearance of evil and that I should make a commitment to never drink in public or if I was in full maturity to never touch the stuff ever again…Whew.

No, I was simply enjoying a wash of freedom, of being glad I am alive, of reliving the sapling memories of my teen years, of holding on to today, and not grasping at tomorrow, of the preference I have for this kind of presence of soul.

And this is a sign of what I am looking for as I search for the Church of the Future, that I just might be on the right trail.


Barb said...

Kevin, you summed up my feelings lately with the paragraph that started with, "For so long my writing on this blog has been wrapped up in what.....

I have veered away with what is wrong but feel that anything of substance is so very personal with what is right that you almost have to know me, be in my life, to understand the present journey. Those closest to me are able to watch the process and at times participate in it but it feels so "individual" to me in so many ways. It is not what is right about the future church but the Who that is loving me at this minute. As you say, freedom is such a big part of this as He loves me with such grace. Even as I leave this comment, I feel that I am just babbling. I have tried to put it all into words but they seem so...... So I'll just stop. :)

Sharon K. said...

Wow, Kevin!

We too left a negative,legalistic, and fear filled "church" some 6 or 7 years ago. It was absolutely the hardest and best spiritual move I have ever made to the present! At times I felt as if I was in a free fall. All familiar comforts of legalism were gone, and how was I to navigate without those confining boundaries. What was I to do with liberty and grace.

I don't know how to describe it yet, but what is coming to my mind after reading your blog is, "Who has your heart?" I found stability in knowing "Who had my heart". It was the only thing I could really hold on to, during that time of soul searching. The fact that the creator of the universe, my creator, and my redeemer, had my heart. And the rest I just had to leave at His discretion. It has been a great journey so far. I feel I have grown the most spiritually and genuinely since that BOLD move. I applaud your courage and bravery.

Strider said...

The first rock concert I ever went to was REO in 1978. It was great- and I didn't even drink. I had to leave the country to find the freedom in Church that I had with my buds in University. It is for freedom that we were set free so keep riding the storm out brother!