I attend a church with 1000’s of members. On a typical Sunday, I get to church, I look for friends to sit with, and most weeks I sit in the same area around some of the same strangers. There’s always a few new faces around, but even with the new people it’s amazing how you can be literally surrounded by people and still be and feel alone, disconnected and just part of the crowd.
I’m a natural introvert so the most draining part of service is when the pastor starts talking about “tell ya neighbor…touch ya neighbor…hold hands and look deeply into your neighbor’s eyes…” It’s just gets awkward at times. I don’t like randoms in my personal space like that so I just want to look forward and ignore all those Simon Say instructions.
I know that God says “For where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them (Matt 18:20).” Are we really gather together if I am disconnected? How am I part of the gathering when I feel alone?
I’ve been out of town the last few weekends for various reasons so I hadn’t been to Sunday service. I’ve even had several conflicts on Wednesday evenings so I’ve been missing Wed night bible study. I’ve been tired so I slept in instead of getting up early before work to read/pray before work. Yes, this sounds like a bunch of excuses and the result is I feel more alone and disconnected than ever.
Easter Resurrection Sunday. I drove back
into late last night from a wedding in Alabama with the intent of joining all
my new random stranger friends for the mega service at church. Today was going
to be the day for me to get my life together by being one of 10000 people
joining together to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yes! This
one Sunday service was going to fix all my problems, put me on the straight and
narrow and rejuvenate my relationship with God! One stop shop!
I laid there in bed – drained at the very idea of all those random people. I felt like I should go because that’s what everyone expects of a good lil Christian. I was worried about what everyone else would think since I hadn’t been to church in a while (month) and was now one of the people who only attend on Easter.
I didn’t get up or get dressed. I laid there. Thinking. I thought about the things I need to do resurrect my relationship with God. The things I hadn’t made a priority and the distractions I had let take their place. I thought about how my relationship has nothing to do with being in a place with others or how fly my new suit is. It’s about the things I do when no one else is around, the thoughts I have that no one else can see, and the faith and feeling I have internally – whether I’m physically alone or not.
As much as my friends/pastor can help and guide me, my journey in Christ is an individual one – so I’ll always be alone. But I’m ok with that.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, - John 11:25