Chris discusses how difficult it can be to find a church home and how you should not be afraid to keep searching.
The Awkward Path
Go to church? Trying to be in a closer walk with God? But find some of the things you may be expected to do….well…”awkward”? Then this is the show and the community for you. We talk about different things that make people uncomfortable and some great strategies for dealing with them!
“Start with the New Testament, not the Old”, the pastor added as the praise team crescendoed the vamp they had been playing during the benediction. The words, an afterthought to his charge to “Read your Bible daily.”, were nearly lost in the musical playout.
Last post I mentioned how a guest pastor at our church had strongly encouraged us to read our Bible’s daily and how, though I had heard this many times before from pastors, this time it manged to motivate me. I also mentioned that I have since been reading a daily Bible in a Year plan on the app from Bible.com.
I am not exactly new to Christianity. While there are many parts of the Bible I am quite sure I have never read, I have read and heard enough from the Old Testament to know what he was talking about. You know, God striking down huge populations of people to make room for the Israelites, or the alarmingly severe penalties for sins most of us are guilty of on a daily basis.
What I was not prepared for though is much of what I have had to read so far. You see, it started in Genesis, as one would expect. Some good stuff there with the Creation story and Noah and Moses. But what is also there is the genealogy. If you think all the “begats” in the beginning of Matthew are a strain to read, just try Genesis.
The 32 verses of Genesis Chapter 5 taking us from Adam to Noah are just the warm up. There are 32 verses in Chapter 10 just to let us know how Noah and his kids repopulated the earth.
Then we have some variation in Chapter 14 talking about a lot of kings and who battled who and who allied with whom. Not genealogy per se, but still a lot of names!
Chapter 25 gives us Abraham and his descendants in great detail. Chapters 30-35 give us details on Jacob and his kids, albeit mixed in with story as well. Chapter 36 covers Esau’s crew. Chapter 38 details Judah’s bunch.
I get that knowing how people are connected is important, but all of those names can be difficult when thrown at you at once. Especially if you don’t yet know which ones are critical to know and which you will never hear again. It can be overwhelming!
So I have started to understand why that pastor said what he did. When it comes to the Bible, unlike most books, it doesn’t hurt to peek at the ending!
If you are doing a Bible in a Year type plan, just be prepared for it. But if reading on your own, maybe focus more on the New Testament as it seems it is better, in this case, to know where we are going before knowing from whence we came.
Everyone experiences God in different ways. In this video, Chris talks about some of those ways and encourages you to find and pursue those.
Hi. This Chris Laning from “The Awkward Path”. Now you have to forgive how I’m dressed today.
I was helping my daughter with her Girl Scout Gold Award. She was putting in plants and trees and stuff in the islands of the parking lot of the church she attends. Just kind of bringing a better aesthetic to it.
Well, I wanted to show you this. This up there. That is the steeple of this particular church.
Now I have been someone who always appreciates the architecture of churches. I find the beauty of it. Whenever I visit a new church I want to look at every nook and cranny to get an idea of the gifts and the talents from God that people put into it to express their personal walks with God.
The thing about it is we all find God on our own terms and that’s okay. For me I love again looking at the architecture of churches. I love hearing some really good music from choirs. For other people it’s nature and appreciating nature. Or hanging out with a bunch of people and just you know in community.
The cool thing is that we have so many different options of ways to worship that we just need to focus on finding the one that works for us. Focus on that first. Build your relationship from there. And then we can work on reaching out to others in different ways. Again, there is nothing wrong with it and just find what works for you.
I encourage you to just go out there try different things and see if there are times that you feel personally more connected with God. And then pursue those opportunities. Again it could be taking long walks in nature. It could be going and looking at the different architectures. It could be listening to different hymns or contemporary music. Whatever works for you.
Build that relationship. It will give you a starting block. And we can keep moving from there.
This is “The Awkward Path” I’m Chris Laning. See you next time.
Welcome to “The Awkward Path”. It’s a series about the journey to a better relationship with God even when talking about God is uncomfortable to you.
Hi, I’m Chris Laning. And welcome to “The Awkward Path”. Now what is “The Awkward Path”?
Well “The Awkward Path” is a video / blog series about the journey to try to get closer to God when you’re someone who is uncomfortable with some of the aspects that are involved there. Take me for instance. I have been a Christian my whole life. I’ve attended church. I’ve been in the choir. I’ve been choir director.
I’ve been on Administrative Council. I’ve always been involved with a church but there are still things about day to day religion
that I’m just not comfortable around.
You know sometimes I’ll see people in church. If they’re singing a hymn and they raise their hand in praise to me that seems awkward.
It’s great for them but to me it’s awkward.
You know or have you talked to somebody that says “Yeah I know all this bad stuff is happening right now but I’m just gonna put my trust in God. God will
take care of it and we need to rely solely on Him and I’m comfortable with that!” That’s great! I wish I had a faith that strong! And that’s what I’m trying to build but it’s not there right now.
So how do we overcome these things that make us uncomfortable? Get past them so we can get in a closer walk with God?
Well that’s what this whole video and blog series is going to be about. But it’s not just going to be about me. I don’t want this to be, “This is what I do!” I want this to be about you as well. I know I’m not the only one out here who feels like that. So I want you to join in this journey. I want you to share what makes you uncomfortable. I want us to talk about it together. Find ways and strategies to make it more comfortable. To make it feel right. To know that we’re growing closer to God every day.
Now why am I doing the series? You know I was sitting in church a couple weeks ago listening to the
pastor, (on a) totally unrelated subject. A good sermon but an unrelated subject. All of a sudden the idea popped into my head, “The Awkward Path”, a video and blog series.
Now, I don’t know if the idea came from God or just my overactive imagination. I wasn’t sure. Well a couple days later I was talking with my wife we were talking
about our personal walks with God and how we both needed to kind of step the game up a little bit, to get closer to God. And twice she used the word “awkward”. Now, my wife has a great vocabulary but the word “awkward” is just not one that’s normally part of it. Twice she said that in that conversation.
So I told her about the idea that I had and how it had popped into my head and we decided that I should give it a shot. What’s the worst that’s gonna happen?
So I want you to join me again in this walk. I want you to reach out to people you know that feel the same way. Let them know to come and get in on this. I want to hear really what makes you uncomfortable. I want us to discuss it and I want us to find the ways to overcome it and get closer to God. But I want you to subscribe I want you to be a part of it and to join the community, give feedback and let me know what you think and again what your challenges are. So that we can do this together.
My name is Chris Laning. Again, welcome to “The Awkward Path”.