Well, as always, I’ve been negligent in writing for a while. However looking over my friends Rudy’s and Tim’s blogs has given me new inspiration and perhaps I can get some things on paper . . . uh . . . well, in electrons.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the contra dance community that I used to be a part of, and how that community parallels the church. For several years, I was actively involved in this dance community. I attended every week. I helped run sound. I even called a few dances. It was a sginificant source of relationship, of creative expression, of joy filled life. Then, post marriage, post children, my life changed. My needs went in a different direction, and my responsibilities became too complex. So, even though my wife and I valued dance, even though it had been a primary part of our lives, even though we wanted to participate, we drifted away. If you were to ask today, we would still say dance is a part of our lives. Yet, we rarely go, overwhelmed with the exhaustion of our weeks and the frustration with dealing with childcare.
As I write this, I’m struck by how our story could reflect the story of many young families in my church. The desire is there. They feel connected to the people of the church. And yet, while the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak and it becomes difficult to participate.
It would be easy to move into a rant on commitment, a diatribe on the loss of loyalty and fidelity. And yet, it’s where I live — only directed in different ways.
I have said many times that I feel the church hasn’t figured out what it needs to be in a dual career, high demand world. We focus too much on making folks feel guilty for their non-participation, without examining their reality. We jump through all sorts of hoops to facilitate attendance — from specialized children’s programs to catered meals — and yet never address the fact that folks are simply tired, stressed, overwhelmed and unable to add one more thing to their lives.
This has gone in a different direction than I intended. In future posts, I want to think more deeply about the key elements of the dance experience, and compare that to church experience and practice.
One last thing. I’m about to leave here to take my wife Kay to the hospital for surgery to remove her thyroid. I don’t know if anyone sees these musings, but I’d appreciate a few prayers this afternoon.