It’s #fmfparty time! Linking up with Lisa-Jo and all the fabulous bloggers. This week we are: lost.
I like to joke that I’ve failed at every formal church ministry that I’ve ever been part of. I’ve led Bible study groups, headed up a library project, hosted book discussion groups, taught Sunday School, helped with Wednesday night kid’s classes and even had a board position for a (very) brief period of time. The groups fizzled out, the library never got anywhere, the book group lasted about 4 months, the Sunday School job was never more than fill-in, I recently had to step aside from Wednesday nights and, yeah, boards are NOT for me.
I try to keep it lighthearted. I try to remember that there are seasons and times.
But behind the joking, there is frustration.
The truth is, I feel lost.
Belonging is a real soul craving. Every one of us feels it. This need is one of the reasons that God instituted the Church. We need community. We need to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We need to contribute. We need a role and we need to fulfill that role.
Purpose, really, is what we’re after.
And when you don’t know what your contribution is supposed to be…
It’s not spiritual gifts. I know I’m a teacher, because I will absolutely tell anyone and everyone what I’ve been learning if given the chance. I also know that I’m an exhorter (Chris refers to this as bluntness, but whatever). Basically, I love the God’s truth and want to know all about it so I can tell other people. Pretty straightforward.
It’s how this is supposed to work out that gets me. How are these gifts to be used in His Body when my body keeps me at home so often? When I can’t promise that I’ll be at every class, every meeting? Should I even try anything when there’s a very real possibility that I’ll have to bow out?
I’m going over the five-minute limit here, but there are some deep questions that chronically ill people wrestle with. The Church hasn’t done a very good job in helping to answer those questions. It seems that if you’re not able to be on 6 committees and attend 3 services per Sunday, plus mid-week classes, don’t bother. If you’re in a wheelchair, don’t bother. If you’ve got cancer, don’t bother.
I don’t think that this attitude is intentional. I’m sure that many assume that ill people simply can’t or don’t want to be involved. And there are definitely limitations when you’re sick. But being sick sucks. It’s boring. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I get tired of myself. I want to be part of something and get my mind off of my belly-button. I want to be asked. To be included.
That’s all anyone wants.
To read all the posts in The Detox Diaries series, go here.