For many people, the early stages of seeing through the illusion of religious performance, makes them feel as if they got lost. Suddenly they look around and it appears the whole landscape has changed. Places that used to help them now seem to hinder them. The old wells they used to drink from now taste dry and dusty. It’s easy to feel as if you’ve done something wrong, or got lost somehow. But as this recent email exchange will show, this isn’t the sign something is wrong, but just the effects of starting out on a different trail. Yes, that can be disorienting for a period of time. I’ve said this often, no one I’ve ever met who went down this trail didn’t find it well worth whatever price they paid to find it.
I feel as lost as lost can be. Not in the sense of “saved” but in the sense of where do I go from here, what does forward look like? That sort of lost. Nobody calls anymore…they’ve “given up on me.” You see I refuse their “fellowship.” But all they offer me is the same stuff…get in a group and serve the “body.” But the body they are referring to is the machine that ate up my soul, the machine that refuses to question anything it sets out to do. The machine that consumes it’s own like some crazed animal that devours its young.
Is this machine, the one Jesus created when He spoke of His “church”? Nobody in the machine gives the one thing that is precious, time. If I’m truly wrong ,my actions (or lack thereof) then why can’t they spend a couple of days (if necessary) to explain my error?
The answer to that last question is that I have come to believe that they cannot engage in the conversation because they know , they will also have to repent and they will be where I am, a VERY HARD PLACE. It’s just easier to to say, “look at him, he won’t GO to church he is in error…” The definition of “church” is a narrow one…only they fit in it. However I don’t think this is the “narrow way” Jesus spoke of…
Anyway here I am… lost
I actually love where you are. I don’t see you lost at all. You’ve awakened to a greater reality than they can see from where they are? You may feel lost but you’re not. You’re just living out of a different framework that finds the old guideposts to be unworkable. I think of it is people being disorientated. The reality I see doesn’t fit into the relationships I have. That’s a tough moment in this journey, no doubt, but if you truly are awakening to a different reality than they can see, that is the result. You’ve known “fellowship” with religious people. Having rejected the religious overlays that you now know kept you from a deepening relationship with God, you are a threat to people who find their comfort in their religious performance.
How could you not be? And be thankful they don’t have the resource of time to give you, because you probably wouldn’t find it of much help. The one thing I love about religious performance is that it keeps those trapped in it so busy and exhausted that they don’t have much time or energy to infect others with it.
You will find the grace to live in God’s revelation to you and NOT need the validation of those who serve in more religious ways. But it will take time. For now they seem only to make you question your own insights. What you discover going forward is a whole new set of relationships that live in God relationally and then you’ll discover a depth of fellowship you have to date only hungered for. I guess I’m saying don’t look for the old relationships to move with you on this journey as long as they find security in their religious activity. You’ll find a way to love them eventually, but look for the relationships God is bringing to your life now. Just love the next person God puts before you and see where that goes. And keep doing it every day. And soon you’ll find your life full of friends, maybe not all will be fellow-travelers, but they people God loves and with whom you can find friendship.