10Q10Q -- faith, life, rethinking church, following Jesus...stuff

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Monday, April 20, 2009

When Stuff Doesn't Fit

I sometimes feel a bit odd. (No affirmations of oddness please.) I feel different from others. Perhaps that's just my ego trying to stand out, but I think there's more. I believe that people make choices based on values and that I don't always understand their values.

For instance: I go to church, before and after Easter, because it's part of my relationship with God. I value a relationship that has continuity. I don't get how people around me can say they come to church, because it's part of their relationship with God, and then just stop coming after Easter, or disappear for the summer.

I trust that if I could fully understand each person's values, heart and thinking, it would make more sense to me. Right now I don't understand and I have trouble making sense of it all.

That's not the only place I feel odd. I feel odd when I value following through on my word, while so many seem to value an "end justifies the means" kind of dismissive efficiency.

I feel different when I set boundaries for what I will and won't do, while those around me seem to lean toward either trying to be all things to everyone (nurturing to the point of exhaustion, if not wishy-washiness), or not much to anyone (self-contained, isolated, if not selfish).

I wonder if I'm a part of a minority when I believe that love is more important than money and that God is bigger than any challenge I face: those around me act in ways that, appear to me as, putting money highest, in stuff and status; many seem to value practicality and perceived reality as far more sensible that claiming an ancient-present truth of interdependence, including an intrinsic need for the Holy.

Deep down I know I'm both unique and also remarkably similar to those around me. I understand that the mysteries of life unfold one day and one relationship at a time. I simply want to better understand those around me. I basically want to act with both a deeper respect of each person I meet, and a greater courage to challenge any of growing values to the fullness of life, wholeness and joy that God makes available. I want others to experience what I experience and more. (It's not important to me that the experience matches my own, but that the experience offers meaning, hope, love, peace, and joy.)

So how do you fit in? Where do you feel out of place? What would you tell me to help me understand? I'm ready to listen. Perhaps, we're all a little odd and a bit the same. I'll know better when I hear more from you.

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