I attend two services per weekend at different churches, plus a 3 hr Christ-centered Celebrate Recovery meeting on Fri nights. This, in addition to two weekly Bible studies. Many of my conversations with friends revolve around the Lord and how we perceive His work in our respective lives. Generally speaking, I think that most of my church friends are the real deal. They love the Lord and try to serve Him. And yet some weeks I just feel overwhelmed by religion & religious people–its all God this and all God that. At times it feels like I’m drowning in a sea of Christians, and at the same time I’m feeling very empty and unsatisfied.
However, I just returned from spending a week with my stepson Jeremy and his family in California. The sweet life of Huntington Beach is a different world than the one I normally live in. Jeremy believes in God and prays to Him at times, but he and those he normally hangs with don’t really understand the whole plan of salvation doctrine that most “born agains” live and breathe. Jeremy, his wife, and inlaws are genuinely loving and generous people. They are kind & they are moral but in a strict reformed theology they are not what you would refer to as “saved.” They dont go to church. They tend to be a little short on doctrine but high on the “love one another” scale. The week I was visiting was fun but it disrupted my whole devotional routine–no services, no Bible study, few prayers and only one brief convervation about the Lord. Thinking about that on the flight back I was feeling rather guilty about returning to Florida feeling so refreshed. Oh, I did pray a few times and profusely thanked the Lord for my vacation, but I was feeling like I’d ignored the Lord and let the Lord down. Then this morning I get my weekly WME devotional from John Cathcart. It was about resting in the Lord and his interesting twist on this is that the Lord rests in our rest. He supported this with various scriptures: Eph. 2:22, Heb. ch 4 and various psalms. The implication was that the Lord rests in our rest, and so perhaps my time of refreshment was not one of forgetting God but one of giving the Lord rest as well. If we are His body, and if He is in us and we in Him then perhaps He needs a rest from “religion” and religious people as much as we do.