It’s Weird, I Tell You

Ok, so here’s the thing. Worship is weird. Church is weird. Everything about Christianity is weird. It isn’t just going about your life and getting through the day, looking for ways to enjoy yourself. It’s more than practicing spirituality and seeking peaceful enlightenment. For those of you that have been in it your whole life, think about it:

One-three times a week, you meet up with other people, and instead of just hanging out, you basically take a class for which you get no credit or extrinsic benefit, no reward.

Our guidebook was written across wide spans of time through shifting cultures, collected centuries ago, from which we are so removed that we need the help of very rare historians to even begin to understand the context and language in which it’s written.

We open ourselves up in prayer to a deity that we believe directly intervenes in our lives but so very rarely communicates directly by any means other than that book. (Some of us believe in more common direct communication than others.)

We believe in a reality so expansive that we cannot properly comprehend it and dedicate our lives in this world to preparing for the day it is finally remade and fit back into that broader scope of existence we can’t properly imagine.

We live with a constant conflict between what we know through faith and what we experience on a daily basis, between grander purpose and mundane existence. It’s all weird.

Maybe your faith is strong enough that you never days or weeks when it feels like a stretch. Maybe you’re never so tired that slogging through this life just weighs you down, especially when you know it’s all broken and there’s something so much better coming. Maybe you don’t feel the tug of war, self-conscious in the weirdness of worship or impatient with the pain of life, frustrated by the sacrifices required or discouraged by the choices of others. If you don’t, I envy you but only in the best way. I’m proud of you, and wish you well.

For the rest of us, it’s important to remember we aren’t alone. It’s important to remember God doesn’t punish doubt. He patiently encourages the questions and provides the answers.

Yes, there comes a point where he begins to expect more. He chides his disciples for lacking faith, but only after they’ve seen so much, witnessed it first hand, lived with him, studied under him.

Our God understand where we are. He understands our pain and our fatigue. And he knows he’s asking the weird. The question always remains: what will you do with your doubt? With your fatigue? Will you take it to him in anger and pride, demanding explanation and justification? Or will you take it to him honestly, seeking comfort and restoration?

Worship is weird. Are you okay with weird? With questions? With mystery and uncertainty? Are you open? Or do you think it’s possible to have it all figured out? To fit the world together like a puzzle so that it makes sense? Because I’ve found weirdness in every perspective I’ve ever explored. This is the only one that’s embraced it.

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