How I Feel About Church Conflict

Or, in other words:

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

(John 17)

 

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A Prayer for Hump Day

Dear God,

It’s Wednesday, Hump Day. But it feels like down-in-the-dumps day. I’m tired; getting out of bed was hell; it’s hard to concentrate at work; I’ve got a headache; is that another bill?; if I hear that stupid, obnoxious Spotify ad one.more.time…

God, are you here in the conundrum of normality?

I know I have so much to be thankful for, my Father. I have a home, an outta-my-league wife, a job that pays better than I need it too, hobbies, friends, safety, Oreos… Who am I to complain…about anything?

But I wish to be transparent. I wish for you to see the pitiful state of my soul, the part of me that is forever whining from the backseat of my journey with you: are we there yet? I’m bored. I’m tired. I wanna stop. I don’t even know why we’re even going on this stupid trip. Can I have a milkshake? I’m STILL bored. If you cannot see this part of me, then who can? If you cannot bear the pettiness of my prayers, then how can I begin to pray? If you cannot tolerate such ego-centrism, is there any hope for me?

Yet you are the God who told Moses: FINE. I’m sending Aaron with you. Now just go!

You are the God who explained parables to the disciples instead of asking: really? you don’t get it? I mean…really?

You are the God who tolerated Jonah: Sorry you’re plant died… but please tell me you see the irony.

You are the God who dealt with Peter: See, that’s funny. Because I coulda sworn you just said I am the Messiah, the Head-Honcho, the Guy in Charge. Get behind me, Satan.

And the Israelites, oh Lord, did they ever stop complaining?  Was David ever able to keep it in his pants? And don’t even get me started on Adam (Dude…it was totally the girl’s fault. I mean…you think a man should be the one making food?  Nah. She took the apple).

Only a God of your grace could put up with our nonsense. Only a God of your mercy could spare us the cosmic smack upside the head that we perpetually deserve.

And so God, I ask that you take my hump day heart and make it a heart of gratitude and service to you. Help me- borrowing from Marilynne Robinson- to see each person as a question, each moment as a possibility, that begs of me to answer with a life spent beneath your grace.

May I serve when I wish to complain, pray when I’d love to roll my eyes, and think of others when I’m occupied with myself.

Thank you, dear Lord, for Hump Day.

Amen.