Last year, I dabbled between two churches at Kent. One a community church filled with people from all over, with deep scriptural exploration that spoke to my heart. The other a college based gathering that provided a sense of regularity and age relevant activities. I knew I would eventually have to choose one or the other, devoting myself to one in order to reap the benefits of connecting with a community. So I chose the college church where I figured I could connect easier with the community. Plus many times I am to apt to grow up before I need to and find myself surrounded by older adults.
It is now nearing the end of the first semester that I have devoted to connecting with this church and I am feeling like perhaps I made the wrong decision. I feel as if I am looking through the window of this church. Inside there are happy people relying on one another, the way Christ intended. But I am banging on the window asking to be let in. In so many ways I have been told no: No, there is no opportunity for that; no, we always meet on this night; no, you just want to start your own community; no, it’s you. I am tired of banging away and begging to be let into a community that is obviously not what I thought it was. I used to have expectations of these people but those are now lost. Is it worth being somewhere that you have no expectations of?
The other day I was watching The Office and the main character found out that he reached his commission cap and couldn’t earn anymore money by selling products. In this situation, without the motivation of extra pay, he slacked off. I think I may be in the same situation. I have nowhere to go forward. If I was in a happy place this would not bother me, but seeing as I am sitting outside the window, it occurs to me that perhaps it would be better for me to move on to somewhere new.
In the book A Return to Modesty, the Wendy Shalit explores the origins of the term “hook up.” She found that the term originated with Nena and George O’Neill’s 1972 track “Open Marriage” which uses the concept of people having many hook up points that if they are not fulfilled by one’s spouse can be filled with another. Now bear with me as I twist this concept to fit to my situation (because of course I do not support adultery or hooking up). I believe the same is true with having hook up points for community. I was desperately trying to get this church to catch my hook and when it didn’t, that hook was easily filled with sin and friends who are not edifying. Both of which were dragging me farther away from God.
So here is where I quit fishing for this church and guard my hook from the world that is so adamant to snag it up. All signs point to the fact that it is time to move on. I am back, although I suppose I never left, to flying solo. I don’t know quite what I am going to do about finding the community that I need; I never imagined that God would let my drought last this long. But He knows what is best for me and He has promised to never leave me or forsake me.
So I am running away with God. I am not sure this is the best decision, but I am desperate and don’t know what else to do. Jesus asks us to leave everything behind to follow Him. This includes dreams and hopes for you own life. Dreams I had of connecting with a great Christian community and dreams of reporting internationally. But the good part is that it also means leaving behind the pain, heartbreak and loneliness that this world can engulf you with. I am nervous and scared that I will fail, but if anyone in my life has proved themselves worthy of trust it’s God.
So I’m grabbing my rucksack and heading into the unknown, letting God be the leader.