Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Keeping the Faith

So in the past year there have been many roads that the Mullins family has traversed, some I thought I’d never see, none the less we’re carrying on and moving forward on faith. Since I became a Christian in 92ish I have attended Highland View C.o.C. while living in Oak Ridge.
When I started going I was a bit too old for the youth group and too young for college group. I can’t remember one person I graduated with that went to church where I did. I felt a bit out of place but was comfortable there because the grandparents attended; in fact my grandmother was one of the first members of the congregation. My grandfather kindly states, “she came with the building” which is funny because they both helped move the church to its current location.

The gist of the story is that as a young Christian this is where I grew up, my going to church is what prompted my mother to start going again, history, history, history, blaa, blaa, blaa. Through all of this I have always enjoyed the folks but I never really felt like I was called to be there to worship as a family.

Somewhere in the past year Jules and I feel pretty disconnected from the HV family and we start to consider if we can re-anchor or if we should try something different. Jules ends up going forward one weekend and there is the typical hug and support session. After that we get one card. The girl went forward asking for the support of the Body of Christ because she we missing that in a big way. She was pleading to her church family for the past seven years for help. We were out of town the following weekend, nothing not a call. Something came up and we missed the next weekend, no wondering where we might have been. We decide to try another C.o.C in Oak Ridge. For almost the past two months we’ve had nothing but positive experiences.
New York Avenue is an older congregation and fairly traditional, I’ve not seen one Power Point song yet. They don’t have a children’s church and the boys have relearned how to sit in the auditorium. Jules and I really feel uplifted in church, which frankly hasn’t happened in a very long time.

A couple of weeks ago I’m talking to the grandfather and he says that one of the elders had asked about us. We get into the conversation about not feeling like we were getting anything out of HV, admittedly that we also hadn’t put much into it either. We sort of find a stopping point and agree to just agree.
Two weeks ago my mother tells Jules and I, with tear filled eyes, that the grandparents don’t understand how and why we’re not attending HV anymore and that they are really missing us. Mom throws in her two cents and says the same thing.

Now, and I consider this nothing less than confusingly ironic, that I’m getting something out of going to church again, I’m being pulled back into going to the place that I got little to nothing out of. I’m a very unconventional person and consider the whole membership thing (to a specific church not denomination) a bit silly. I mean the Body of Christ is the Body of Christ, not the Body of Christ at 123 Baptism Street versus 456 Holy Roller Street.
I think that we’re going to move our membership (silly idea) to the new place and take one Sunday a month and visit Highland View. It’s confusing because more than anything it’s a test of sorts. Sort of in the way that you will forsake your own family, mother and father for “my sake”. The family has some hurt feelings because we’re not going to HV, Jules now feels uncomfortable because the people at HV haven’t talked to us in a long time (long story short, we brought visitors to HV for Halloween, not only did no one speak to us but no one spoke to the guests one of whom is an award winning film maker who had done more for Oak Ridge recently since the inception of the Manhattan Project) and I’m torn between making those two sides happy and seeking out my own spiritual comfort.

You would hope and think the Christians you have known the longest would be the one who when you are down would be the first to lift you up. Then again perhaps the reason they haven’t is because they either don’t know how or are riding out the inertia of their own discontent, though I hope neither of those are the case.


Jamison said...

sounds like you want somethig out of church, when in a way, you are the one who is to be giving to church, while at the same time, your family just wants you there for the sake of you being under the same roof as they are, not even considering that you don't feel that sclose worshipfulness when you are there.

mullinz8 said...

This is very true. At Highland View it sort of got to a point where something clicked and everything went of cruise control.

I used to help out doing different things and then I was asked to help out for last years VBS, I said that I was going to be on vacation that week and then, as odd as it seems, no one out of the VBS folks talked to us anymore. It was as though my vacation should have taken a back seat not to VBS but their needs.

I did a few videos a while back and was asked to do more when I said that I would need someone to tell me what they wanted they would never get back to me, even the preacher. He wanted some short projects and I told him I'd love to help. I would have to remind him every other week to send me something, an idea at least. then I would get nothing until some months later he would ask me about a different project and the whole thing would start again.

Strange situation.

Diana said...

Holy Roller street. Hee hee.

That's a very hard situation. I say stand your ground. Your place in heaven and pleasing the Lord is more important that making gramps and granny happy. As much as you love them.

I love the congregation we attend. The people are great, there's progress, but no to the point to where it conflicts with scripture.

I'm not always 100% happy there, though. I don't feel like we're involved in a lot of get togethers. We sort of get overlooked by the social circle. Charlie and I don't fit the mold of people my or his age and that's hard. We have anyone in the church we hang out with outside of church.

Also, our church does A LOT of evangelizing in the area. That's fabulous, but I wish some of that energy was put into us having high quality bible classes. I feel like I learn more from visiting Dalraida on one Sunday then I do in a year at our church.

Charlie's been going there since he was in utero, and I'm pretty sure his mama would hit the roof if we switched, so for now we're stuck. Myrtle Beach doesn't have very many other congregations, anyway. I can relate, Mullins.

mullinz8 said...

See Diana I think that's a bit odd. You say you like it but you're not getting very much out of it and don't really fit in.

Wouldn't you rather go somewhere you could find encouragement.

The whole thing is that I don't want a spiritual complacency because I will never grow that way.

One enrighing Sunday at church in Montgomery vs. 51 Sundays at home dosen't play to very good odds.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. I admit it's a wierd dynamic. I enjoy the preacher, but not the classes. I don't fit in, but I like the people. It's a strange situation.