Sunday, March 31, 2013

Convincing Performance

I sat myself down in the back row at church for Lenten worship on a Wednesday night.  I was planning on excusing myself early.  Thinking that in the back, it would be easy to sneak out, head home and get ready for the next day.

Worship began and I was joined by a friend.  I sang the songs.  Spoke the words that are so familiar.

Somewhere between the Amens and the songs I said something about not feeling connected to worship.  To God.  To my faith.  That I feel like I'm floundering.  I know what I should say.  What I'm expected to do.  When to stand, when to sit, when to smile, and when share the peace, much like an actor who has memorized a script.

The problem was I know how to look on the outside, how to read a script, block the scene, but it doesn't mean that is what's really going on.  I felt alone.  Alone in the questions.  Concerned that I'd be "found out."  But she responded that she knew how I felt.  That she had been there too.

The performance in convincing and we know every line by heart.  
Only when no one is watching can we really fall apart.  
-Casting Crowns, "Stained Glass Masquerade"

I have a younger brother who is in his very early twenties.  We were out of town when late at night I snuck into the kitchen for a glass of water.  The house was quiet, and he sat alone, at the kitchen table.  He had a bible in front of him.  I asked what he was doing and he replied, "what I do every night before I go to sleep."  He was reading the One-Year Bible.  He has read it 5 or 6 times.  He is very traditional in his beliefs.  Strong in them.  Comfortable.

I find myself envious of him sometimes.  Envious of his faith.  His dedication.  His ability to believe.

I want to believe.  But I find myself doubting. Wondering.  Questioning.

Some days I lose my place.  
It's a fight to keep my faith.
-Britt Nicole, "Stand"

That's when the pressure sets in.  That I failing at something.  That I'm letting someone down.  

So here I stand, upon my pile of sand watching as the tide rises.  Rises and surrounds me and my pile of sand.  

I was reminded that while it feels like I'm standing on sand, my feet are standing on a solid rock.  

The rock is there, whether I can tell or not.  

While the security of knowing the rock is there is wonderful, it's also comforting to hope that it is standing there.  Right under my feet.  Solid stone holding me up, safely out of the water.  

Even it if feels like I'm standing on a pile of sand.

While we often wear different hats, play many parts, memorize our lines 
it's important to remember that we are enough.  Just the way we are.  
Doubts or certainties, despair or hope, falling or rising.

Remember that many things in life can wait... The Sunset Won't.

1 comment:

  1. I think most people have been in this place. I have spent nearly my entire life in church. If the doors were open, we were there. I spent 5 or 6 years in "rebellion" in my late teens/early twenties when I was more into partying and hell-raising, but returned to church when I met my husband. I think there are many people who attend church regularly and don't feel like they're really getting anything out of it. My suggestion is to check out some different books about faith by different ministers and authors. Some good movies about faith are Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants. They are good stories with a faith background.

    That's just my two cents. ;)

    Glad to be back and reading your stuff!


Life is busy, thanks for taking a moment to leave a note!