Sunday, August 31, 2008

And so on....

Well- I am still in my GenX doldrums.... still struggling, particularly on a personal note. I feel more challenged to "step up to the plate." Sadly, I have NO FREAKIN' CLUE what that actually means. So....I will keep going and trusting God that whatever needs to happen will happen and I won't miss out or screw up. I think the more I walk with God, the less I know. But yet, I still trust Him. Yikes. I just feel as if I am totally messing things up all over the place. Yet, I seem to still be producing "fruit." I guess that's God using the imperfect vessel thing- thank goodness for that! Sometimes, I just feel like I've lost my.... "zeal"....for lack of a better the point that sometimes I find other people's zeal a bit trite, which isn't fair at all. I don't presume to judge their hearts. But isn't there a way to live our lives for Jesus without being religious? I am beginning to wonder... But enough about that, suffice it to say- I am still very much in process.

In other news, other than picking up drycleaning and trying to cram all the costumes into stock- BIG RIVER IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously. OY. It felt like it was TAKING OVER MY LIFE.

August is over, another relief. It's alway a busy time at Camp TTC- but it seemed much more so this year- partly because of Big River maintenance and partly because we had to build everything for the next show before September 1st when I lost the majority of my work force. A big shout out to Dana, Beth, Sue, Melinda and Mandy- I so would not have survived this summer without them. They do tremendous work and I really appreciate all of them sooooo much. Now, things should settle into a busy, but relatively normal pace through Christmas.

I really don't have too much more to say- actually, I do have much rolling around in my mind- but don't have the energy today to type it all out and try and make sense of it all.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Generation X

Well, long tedious story short. I survived the parental visit and had some fun to boot. It was hardly what I would call restful, but life goes on. I am still pretty fried and burned out, and am trying to figure out how to "rest and restore" so that I can continue on the insane track of my life that runs through Christmas. So life goes on. And that's that.

Today, at church, Jeff was talking about thinking cross-generationally (something I believe in VERY much) and was describing all the different generations- boomers, X-er's, millenials...etc. etc. and I am a bang-on-the-money X-er all the way. Yep., it was a smidge scary.

Apparently, we're a tad cynical, we have an ability to see through "falseness"- particularly pertaining to the church, we lack optimism, and we are extremely relational, we are big into AUTHENTICITY. I would say, for me- that's pretty much truth.

As I sat there- listening to Jeff talk about how unless we start "walking the talk," the church will lose the generations to come, I realized that I think that is very true. I already don't particularly want to go to church... I am finding, lately, I really am tired of "playing church." But what does "real" church look like? I have no idea- but what it is- we're not seeing...

And I sat listening to the congregation (primarily boomers, I believe) sit there and say "Yes!" and "Amen!" I am afraid my X-er cynicism kicked in in a big way. I just don't think they really know what they are saying yes and amen to, and, if they find out- will they be willing and able to do it? I just don't know. I am sad to say that I don't have the confidence that they will. Boomers like their institutions and programs- which once worked, but don't anymore...can they really bridge the gap? As the older generation- these boomers need to impart what wisdom they can- if they don't change, if they don't try to REALLY reach these 20's and 30's folks, who are the next leaders of the church- the church will die. DIE. That sounds dramatic, God is so much bigger- but the church will probably morph into something they don't recognize- and will they be left behind? And what will the next generations miss out on? And what will they miss out on from the next generations if they can't change?

We live in a selfish society. When I taught daycare- the first words from the two-year olds were "MINE" and "NO." Do we teach children to be selfish? Not at all- they have that down already- we have to teach them to share, to not be selfish. Darn that sin nature. So how do we be like Jesus in our arrogant, entitled, self-centered, selfish american society? Truly being like Jesus gets messy. It means getting in people's messes- it means accepting them as is- and LOVING them that way. It means taking time out to be with people (X-er relationship-ism- right there, ladies and gents) and spend time with them- it doesn't mean shiny happy programs....says the girl planning the kick-ass Trunk-or-Treat for the church.... perhaps it doesn't mean shiny happy programs with agendas? I just don't know. It means sacrificing what we want for the other, as brothers and sisters in Christ, as husbands and wives, as complete strangers. It's EXHAUSTING. I know I struggle in a big way. BIG WAY. Sometimes, dealing with that kind of "high maintenance" in hurting people takes it completely out of me. I am drained. A puddle in the corner. Ouch. And when people ask me to pray, I have to say- "Sorry- I got nothing left." And part of that comes from the busy-ness that keeps me from pulling away and filling up and drawing close to God. How to balance it all? I have no idea, and right now, I am flunking in a big way.

But I do know that I am tired of "Going to church" instead of living like Jesus. I am tired of Christians treating each other without respect- treating each other like crap. I am just TIRED of it ALL. I love God- with my whole heart. But I really do struggle with the Bride. I know Jeff's heart is right- but while there are very, VERY good things going on at our church- it feels so.....churchy.... to me and I am afraid we are heading right back into the land of good mega-church-like government and great programs- and not really getting at the heart of what Jesus really wants from us. I wish I knew how to do it myself...I know I am gloriously inept.

In all honesty, I find providing a workplace that is a "refuge" for a stitcher who is going through a rough time seems to me to be much more fulfilling than going to church as of late. I feel so much more like that is what God is wanting me to do...and I'd like to do more. I love that Marty and I are out in the "art community"- we don't do traditional witnessing- but we make friends, we love people...isn't that really what it's about? Being Jesus to people, trusting God to draw them to Him through us...loving without agenda, being there to answer the questions when it's time...

I used to love going to church. But that was when I bought into all the "shiny happy christianity" crap- I lived at the church 24/7. I met all expectations- I "served" 20-30 hours a week. I led, I prayed, I read, I mentored, I cooked meals, I taught kid's church, I cleaned yards- all good things- no doubt- BUT- I had no "unsaved" friends... I wasn't Jesus to anyone who didn't already know Him...what's the point? I confess, I seem to be back in my wilderness time. I feel like I am still being called away to God- to soak and learn, sadly- I've been "too busy" to answer.

Father, help me to find the time to find you again. I am your little, cynical, frustrated X-er daughter and I need some HELP.