Our Book Discussion on Finding Church continues at the Lifestream Discuss Forum. You’re welcome to join us, or just read over our shoulder as we work our way through that book. Discussion for the first five chapters are already there. Today we begin Chapter Six: The Undeniable Longing.
For some people the longing for “something more” seems so out of reach, and everyone else seems so content that they simply try to make the best of what is and fall into a spiritual stagnation that leaves them unfulfilled. For others, they can’t seem to abate the longing. Try as they might to ignore it, knowing the cost of following it is great, but it continues to grow and invite them down the road less traveled. What’s the difference? Why do some people go on this journey and others content themselves with an unfulfilling status quo?
Excerpt from Chapter 6:
When that longing surfaces either as a hunger for something more real, or as a restlessness that something is wrong, it presents us with a critical moment of choice. Do I stick to the comfort of what I’ve always known or take the risk to follow my heart into a more undefined place? Unfortunately most people will encourage you to suppress your hunger. I’ve talked to hundreds of church leaders who have had similar moments of being pulled between what Scripture invited them to and what they have to do to keep their institutional position. Many have told me they would love to embrace a different reality but can’t figure out how to make it work. With sad and heavy eyes, they’ve turned to me, “I’ve decided just to make the best of what I already have.”
I did that, too, for way too many years, settling into a comfortable, though often lifeless, regimen and ignoring the deeper call of my heart. There were always enough breadcrumbs in the routine to give me enough hope that if we could just find the right alignment all would be well. For a long time I thought it was my fault, knowing how lazy I could be as well as the temptations and motivations that rumbled just beneath the surface. I kept trying harder to be a better person. As genuine as that may seem it always proved a side road back into the swamp of failed self-effort and frustration.