New year musings
Monday, January 14, 2013 at 8:11AM
Living with Freaks

It is a new year, and with that comes new hopes, new goals, new excitement. I love it all. Maybe that's why I work in education - you get so many new beginnings each year. There's the January beginning, of course. Then there's the beginning of summer. And then there's the beginning of the new school year. I love not having to wait long to begin anew.

I have not been looking forward to this new year as much, however, because I am not a fan of the number 13. I think that's something God just wants me to get over, though.

At the beginning of each year, I like to take stock of my church. We are currently around 35 adults plus a billion children. I find it fascinating that we have stayed at a consistent number of adults (mid 30s to low 40s) for several years, even though families have come and families have gone. Perhaps this is just the right size for doing churchlife the way we do it.

We are 11.5 years old. Amazing. How we have stayed together as a church body for more than 11 years without ever having formal roles or paid staff or a building is unexplainable to me. I hope it is evidence that God's Grace has held us together, that His Life is within us.

I have some sadness about people moving on. Doing churchlife the way we do it is difficult. After all, there is a reason that most churches choose to have formal roles and paid staff and buildings. I think sometimes our church takes too much commitment, too much initiation in order to stay part of it. And sometimes the Lord simply calls people to new experiences and places. 

I have excitement about our new faces. How did these people find us? Why are they with us? We have one new couple who are related to people in our church. They have piercings everywhere, no money, and no experience with God (from what I can tell). And yet they are meeting with us. They are touching Jesus with us. I look at their piercings and I think, God must be among us. I never thought I would think that.

We are currently meeting in two groups. One group meets at Chris and Maria's. I am part of that group and we are going through 1 John together. It's been very encouraging. Another group has begun meeting at Ravi and Diane's. We were not really planning on two groups, and I'm not sure what to think of the whole thing. But God seems to be working in it so I'm trying to keep my mouth shut (emphasis on the word, trying).

We do not have many older couples in our church. There's Ron and Janet, Richard and Cathy, and Jeff and Nan, who are less frequently connected to us. I'm really thankful for them. We really stink at honoring and appreciating and benefitting from those who are older in America, those who have more experience. Instead, we take the mentality that youthfulness is where people are at their prime. Physically, yes. Spiritually? No. I've been especially grateful for Richard and Cathy lately. For some reason, whenever I see them in some sort of gathering, my heart fills. I should find a way to tell them that. We need them.

One of my new year's resolutions is to give my all to the now. I am constantly thinking about the future, about what's next, even if it's just the next 15 minutes. As a cost, I lose sight of what is happening before me. I stop caring, and I start wanting nothing else except for it to end, for no other reason than to enable me to go to the next thing. But God is not found in the past. And He is not found in the future. God is here, now, in the present. To miss the present is to miss Him, and to miss Him is to miss everything.

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