When I reopened my bible in 2003 after being “away” for 15-years, the world had changed significantly. I’ve written about this before, that the whole bible-study thing with computers really appealed to my geeky side. And at first, before I was ready to find a church, I naturally turned to the web to find podcasts to support my spiritual quest, just as I’d turned to Christian radio back in the 70s when I was a teenager.
I’ve had wonderful conversations with my girlfriend, Tricia, over the past few weeks as she’s queried me about my faith status saying that after a year she still doesn’t really know what I believe in. Also, for me, this week has historically been significant as a time when I’ve reflected on my faith and more than a few times found myself on my knees looking for forgiveness or understanding. I’ve always been … religiously sensitive. The church and God were just part of my understanding of the world from my earliest memories. Like the days of the week and Sunday being the beginning of the week, it’s just the way the world was. Was…
I used to look at my life as being divided into three segments of 15-years: 15-years of my youth, 15-years as a believer and 15-years in self-imposed exile from my faith. I guess that leaves the last seven years as an extremely compressed version of the previous three segments with a real WTF quality to it. In that short period I went from my exile status to diving back into reading my bible, to looking for a fellowship, to leading worship (both in small gatherings and in larger Sunday services) and then back to exile. I learned a lot, but in the end I felt like I had gotten it wrong, in that I wanted the faith of the second 15-years, but it just didn’t work. So, back into exile I went.
“You’ve obviously been thinking about this a lot.”
I hesitated, “well, yeah.”
He looked at me, “not me,” and then he went on about “practical ministry” and not being one to spend any time on thinking. Thus my last connection seemed to snap and I felt all the more disconnected from a faith that had been one of my deepest passions for the past four years. It was all in my heart to serve, but somehow I really didn’t fit in. So I left thinking that I must be the only one like me.