I had that feeling no one understands me anymore. No one seems to disagree with me- No one seems to agree with me. No one really understands what I have gone through during my time away from Queensland. No one really understands my view of Church - the way I think Church should be conducted - surely worship is more than singing a few songs - surely mission is more than going on a trip overseas.
Can someone just agree with my views and then I can just move on?
Perhaps it was the end of term stress, the getting ready for holidays away, the frustrations of a church message, my children not understanding me (or listening to me) or my wife asking me, "Is something wrong? Get rid of that look on your face!"
I was having trouble getting my head round some issues of my faith and its relation to church, more importantly, by my thinking anyway, the issue of getting out of a "social club mentality" attitude to church. I also was caught up in the endless talk about the place of marriage in our society, the war in Afghanistan after the death of 5 Australian soldiers, and the riots in Melbourne and Sydney after the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" trailer.
I was struggling with these topical issues. The place of my faith in all these controversies. I was struggling with my own points of view, but also struggling with my ideas and trying to get my head around what God could possibly be thinking about these issues. One thing is for certain, I want to be on God's side- not try and work out my position and make God fit into that position.
God does not need me to defend His position.
I heard a quote in church on Sunday that resonated with me, "Christians spend a vast amount of time talking about what they stand against, rather than what they stand for." I want to be that person who stands for something, rather than just fall for anything- in and outside the church community.
Maybe I should have been singing the next song the song leader at Church suggested at the time, but I chose to think on these things instead.
Then the MC of the meeting rose and read Hebrews 12 verses 1-3 (The Message Bible):
Discipline in a Long-Distance Race
Do you see what this meansâ€"all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start runningâ€"and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headedâ€"that exhilarating finish in and with Godâ€"he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Sitting down I realised I was ready for a shot of adrenaline into my soul! And a kick up the backside!
The worries of the world, my "pity party", the controversies, the deaths, the riots, the pettiness of my problems, vanished.
I am such a sinful, selfish man sometimes. Time to keep my eyes on Jesus. The one who began and finished the race I am in.
I am a follower of Christ. Time to follow Him.
Russell Modlin teaches English and Physical Education at a Christian School on the Sunshine Coast. He is married to Belinda and they have three children. â€¨â€¨
Russell Modlin's archive of previous article can be found at www.pressserviceinternational.org/russell-modlin.html