Friday, April 15, 2005

I Like it

I really like it when someone appreciates the same things that I appreciate. It is true that opposites attract. My marriage is a living testament to that theory. However, I think that it's also true that there is tremendous value in finding someone to share a mutual appreciation of something of importance in your life. Ideally in a marriage relationship you can experience both the opposites and the similarities. I find myself at different times longing for various opportunities to participate in some activity or other. The difference between the longing for and the participating in is most of the time a lack of someone to participate with. For example, I'd love to get involved with kayaking. I've tried it before and really liked it. However, I don't have anyone to do it with. The same goes for serious cycling. Not having someone of significance to share the experience with lessens my desire to actually participate. I'm beginning to have this conflict lately with the Church. I want people to appreciate what I appreciate. I've given my life to the Church. I've given my family's lives to the Church. It's not just a job, it's an adventure. I value it, I appreciate it, and lately it's been becoming harder and harder to find others who share my feelings. I've read the studies, but more convincingly I'm living the experience with people who are increasingly having little thought and less time for the things that I value. Part of me doesn't understand it. If they had struggled with it the way I have... If they'd seen the dark underside that I've seen or if they'd expereinced the hurt that it has at times inflicted on me and my family, I might then understand. But for the most part they haven't and they won't, and yet they still have a hard time appreciating it's value. On the other hand, part of me understands all too well. They don't see it's purpose. They don't see it's relevance. They struggle to find any passion in it's members for the things that they have heard God values most. I have to admit, I understand where they're at. I still want them to appreciate that which I appreciate. There is good news though, as there is with most any difficult lesson that I'm supposed to learn. The good news is that because they are not passionate about it, I am that much more determined to help them see it's value. I'll work even harder to make the Church do what it was meant to do in God's design for it. God wants us to be a community. The world needs it. God wants us to lend a hand. The world needs it. God wants us to be The Church, not to hide in one. I read all these things about the early church that were so attractive to those on the outside. I don't read those things much these days about the American Church, and neither do they. The good news is that I have a life purpose to help them like what I like. Anyone else?

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