Sunday, August 26, 2012

Going Forward

I am stuck. Stuck in fear, in anger, in frustration, in despair. This is a place I do not want to stay...who would?  The problem is...well, the stuck part. It seems I am unable to move. I keep making attempts at getting myself out, only to find I'm in deeper than I was before. Getting stuck works that way. Your pulling your foot out of the mud, and it seems like it's coming out...but as soon as your strength gives out, you find now it's not just your foot, but your ankle that's in as well. Or your pulling off your ring, but it's just making the finger swell, until it feels impossible to get it off--and it's getting more painful by the minute.

But when we get stuck, given time, we usually find a way to get unstuck. We figure out what we were doing wrong--someone tells us to use bleach (it really does work well to get a ring off) or we angle our foot differently and we finally ease it out. Sometimes though, all we can hope for is someone to come and help us, because we are in just too deep.

There are a couple things that keep coming to mind, as I sit in this stuck place. Many verses speak of waiting for the Lord, and finding strength in that posture. Obviously, just sitting and doing nothing is usually not very helpful when something needs changing. The thing is, there are so many times we just don't know what to do, or the things we are doing just aren't helping at all. And so, to wait means to hope that an answer will not give up, but keep looking for it. 

The other thing that keeps coming to mind is the idea of pressing forward--which seems to contradict waiting. Though, if waiting can be as I just mentioned (hoping and searching and believing that there is an answer to the stuckness) then I think moving forward can still work in that context. Maybe moving forward is asking for help, or trying a new approach. 

In my stuck place (there are many, but in this case it's my lingering anger at 'the church') my new approach is making the decision to return to a weekly Sunday morning worship service. (at a 'reconciling church'...which means they accept gays) I think it's the answer I've gotten to my constant "what do I do now" inquires to God, and it seems I'm finally ready. A big part of going forward is not looking back, and this is still something I struggle with daily. I have to keep reminding myself that looking back in disappointment or bitterness is a sure way to work the foot deeper in the muck. 

Despair is giving up on a better is believing a better future is always possible. I believe God has this better future in mind, and He can see it even when I can't. That vision for a church united and working towards the kingdom of God here on earth is what I need to keep pressing toward, even when there is such deep and hurtful disagreements.