Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stuck in the middle

I was at this concert last night. It was a "secular" show, but held in a "church" building. As I sat and listened and watched people, it occurred to me that this really sums up my life. I loved the music, and there were so many people there that reminded me of my friends before I went off to seminary and became a pastor. These were the type of people I held in my thoughts while studying, and praying, and dreaming up what church might look like for me. The guys with pony tails and beards down to their bellies, as well as the nervous-looking tattoo-covered, and even the red-neck beer guzzlers. As I sat there looking at them, it seemed so right, like these were my friends. But I knew this was not the case. Because the truth is... I just don't fit with those people anymore. I might not look at them any differently, but I think they look at me differently. And honestly, even though I still think I talk and dress like them, and think of myself as one of them... I am not. I no longer share their worries, and can't really fully relate to their demons anymore. Not all of them anyway. In a way it makes me sad to realize this.

On the other hand, I also saw some of the staff and people from this church at the concert. I have tried on several occasions to connect with them - we are like-minded church leaders, I've always thought. But for whatever reason they don't seem to see me the same. And it's not just them, but I get that from a lot of "pastor types." The language I use, the clothes I wear, the things I talk about... they don't consider me one of them either. This saddens me as well.

So here I am... stuck in the middle. I don't fit here; I don't fit there. Too secular for the religious; too religious for the secular. It is a lonely place to be. Which doesn't mean I don't think it's where God has called me to; and it doesn't mean I always think it's necessarily the wrong place to be. But sometimes I wonder. I often think that it would be nice to take a year off from being a pastor - just so I can know what it's like to be a "normal" person again. But I also know it's quite likely that if I took a sabbatical I would never return from it. At least not in the same capacity or location. I believe that's a documented fact. So I never know... is God teaching me something through this; or am I avoiding something? Maybe I'm not supposed to "fit" anywhere but in God's graces. Kind of like wandering in the desert. Hmm. God has done a lot of good teaching in the desert. But it's a lonely place.

Or maybe everybody feels like this.

I dunno. Just rambling.