Seems the past 10 years have been a long process of reorienting myself. Nothing fits like it use to. I don’t feel like I know how to talk about it even. I actually find myself fearful to talk about it because I don’t think people will understand. So I keep to myself more and more. My circle of friends has changed drastically and too many times over the past few years. I still have friends, but I struggle to feel like I have that one friend. The one who gets me. My wife is pretty much it, and she’s honestly the best person I know. I’m not sure how I’d survive many days without her. She occasionally drives me batshit crazy, but I’m sure I do the same to her on many more occasions and she still sticks with me. So I’ll stick with her.
My Christian faith has been utterly dissassembled as of the past few years. There is so much that I grew up believing that just doesn’t work or make sense to me anymore. I find myself hovering around just a few verses from scripture. One such verse is Mark 12:30-31 which says,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
Seems pretty simple right? Jesus really took all that old testament law and dumbed it down just for me it would seem. Another verse, which I now have tattooed on my arm is Psalm 62:11-12… I like the Jon Foreman translation from his song “Your Love Is Strong” which says,
“Two things you’ve told me:
that you are strong,
and you love me.”
That’s a reassuring statement. God is strong, and He loves me. I can hang on to that. So love God, love your neigbor, God is strong, and God loves you. There’s the base. Everything else seems to be up for grabs.
I still love music. I still like to write, record, and perform music. However, for the past, well long time, I’ve had a pretty major mental block. I haven’t written much if anything, and most the time I don’t feel like I have the energy to spend writing, the money to record, or the right venue to perform it. It’s all been frustrated. I use to want to be a worship leader at a mega church, but that desire has been utterly beat out of me, which is good, but also seems to have stripped away some of those benefits like having people to play music with, and purposeful time playing music. Now I sit in my basement office alone strumming my guitar maybe a couple times a week for a few minutes. I mostly just listen to music now and remember the good old days when I was out playing it. I keep thinking maybe someday, perhaps when the kids are older, I’ll have time again… For now though it would seem it needs to take a back seat. I still lead worship at my church, but if I’m honest I feel like I’m doing that most days for the people from my church who like to have me up front because it gives them some continuity between the church we were a part of that collapsed, and the new church we decided to merge with…
Speaking of church… We left a church 5 years ago or so that we had been at for something like 15 years. We joined a small church plant in our home town and we grew very close with that community of people. Then one year ago we lost our meeting space, and within the next 6 months the whole thing collapsed very quickly. We ended up merging with another church. The new church is full of great people, but all in all it’s just been a rough few years for my standing with church. On more than one occasion I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and just attend bedside baptist on Sundays, or start up some sort of house church.
I’m a father to 6 kids. My kids range in age from 5 years old to almost 14. It’s hard. I don’t know if there’s a better way to say it other than to throw in some cuss words. They are constantly presenting challenges to us and my wife and I are always having to figure out how to parent them well without screwing them up. Then there is the world that our kids are growing up in. The political instability, the environmental problems, the violence that is visible every where and celebrated in weird ways by youtube videos of kids beating up other kids or worse, the over sexualized everything… This is the world we’re handing off to our children…? Good luck kids.
Anyway, just needed to say something. I feel like I could sit here and go on for a while, but I’ll stop. I’m not looking for answers or prayers. You all are there too I’m sure, or have been there before. Life is hard. Maybe it’s just my 30’s… Maybe it’s just the way things are. I’m tired. But in all this, life is good.
Thank God for …
camp fires and good conversations with friends,
for stupid games we play with family just for laughs,
for good food,
for my wife, my companion,
for the times when my kids are goofy,
for shelter and provision,
for air in my lungs,
for the blood in my veins and a heart that moves it well enough…
Small mercies that keep me going.