Hit the Wall

Wow, I didn’t see that one coming.

Reading, blogging, and thinking about church has been like my hobby for the last couple of years. I have been sincerely interested in the things that I read about.

Today, I suddenly feel done with it.

It feels a little scary, because I should be interested. I wonder what it might be like to just walk away.

I’m not upset or frustrated, just suddenly disinterested. Blah, blah, blah.

I don’t really want to quit blogging. I would really miss the interaction. But church has been mostly what I write about.

Today, I thought that I could tell you about the fact that I tried brown beer for the first time in my life. It was much better than I expected, quite smooth.

Or I could write about the challenge to pastors that I read this morning. Have you really done your job if your congregation isn’t equipped and capable of functioning without you? That is kind of interesting.

At the moment, I don’t really care about how anyone does church.

Maybe I’ll feel different about it tomorrow.

Disclaimer: I really am okay. This isn’t a cry for help or a threat to quit. It is just kind of a pause and perhaps a warning of a sharp turn ahead.


34 thoughts on “Hit the Wall

  1. Ha…it’s just something you ate…

    You no more could quit blogging about church than any one of us that have been commenting here…

    It is something visceral in us. Foundational. Core. It may not be the most positive of topics or the best of times/memories, but church is what we are intimately grafted into…

    But certainly give it a try. Quit. Cold turkey. Just see how long you can hold out… :)

  2. Well, this blog has been a public square for you in your deconstruction process and rebuilding. Maybe there is a new phase a head for you. Writing (and blogging) is a means of how we discover what we think. Writing about church stuff has been incredibly helpful for you in figuring out stuff.

    I wonder if the next phase of your writing and discovery might gear towards how to Be Church in your own life. We all have to figure out what it means to be the Presence and Voice of Jesus right where we are to the people who are right next to us.

    Just thinking (and blogging!) outloud…

  3. Grace,
    Please quit reading my blog. This happens all the time. I recommend two Joel Osteens and a hot bath.

    Hey, I had brown beer the night before my latest meltdown too though. Maybe that’s it!

  4. change is good.
    i would suggest a couple more of those brown beers and a muse.

    selfishly i do wish for your blog sensibilities to return. but definitely follow the winds, not the comments :P

  5. i could have written this post – you might have noticed a huge lull in posting on my blog. I think the thing that sort of disturbs me is that I don’t know what else I’d talk about if I tried to go a new direction. I talked with David about this very thing the other night – I just don’t really care about any of this all of a sudden.

    maybe it’s seasonal

  6. I hear you, Grace. This is pretty much where I am concerning “talking and reading about” missional orders and intentional community movement building. I am done with talking — I want to move on to doing! 8)

  7. I am astounded that you haven’t tried brown beer before this! Take a quick step up to the black stuff (Guinness) and I think you will be ok :)

    I would say, hang out with Jesus the rest of Holy Week and see what happens one day at a time after that. After all, aren’t we on one big WALK with him anyway? (Micah 6:8)

  8. Inheritorof heaven knows what s/he speaks of: Try Guinness. I love it at room temperature best, and there is NO beer that tastes good that way but this one.

    As to the church thingy, welcome to my world. I’ve hashed it until I cannot hash it anymore. I don’t really even care anymore. My latest take (subject to change tomorrow, of course) is that as long as we are fallen human beings, there will be fallen systems. I don’t care if it’s a “senior pastor” church, home church, missional, cell, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. Sure, some may be more subject to abuses than others, but every one of us is still utterly depraved. So, I’m sick of talking about it. Most of the time, at least.

    I don’t mind others talking about it as I think it’s good to go through the process–healthy even. And I don’t mind partaking of it for a few minutes. But it no longer is a main focus.

    I’ll let you know if that’s still true in 5 minutes. ;)

  9. peggy – I am living it, I’ve lost interest in that in many ways too

    by the way, like grace I don’t need reassurance that I’m ok hehe..

  10. I think you’re seeing a sign of spiritual/emotional health. When our eyes are spontaneously averted from deconstruction I think we can start building the things we believe in.

    I had the strangest experience the other night… I had a polite and positive conversation about my former pastor. I should write about that one because it is a milestone.

  11. You can’t play an ‘A’ game without passion. You’re too gifted not to have a passion about something. My guess is that it will stay in the spiritual area somewhere if not in the area of structure.

    I’ll sit here and sip my pale ale until your next post.


  12. Congratulations!!

    You got it out of your system. It’s like Forest Gump when he was running across the country and then just stopped. People around him wanted some kind of speech, and he was just done. Tired of running.

    I know this feeling and while it’s not really all that good for blog visits or post regularity, it’s very freeing.

    I don’t care how people do church either, though I’ll still occasionally just get drawn into conversations. And occasionally am still curious what others think.

    It frees me to just be. Which is really how, I think, God wants us to do church anyhow.

    You’ve passed through a wilderness. Enjoy the oasis.

  13. we are more than our [choose one or more: churches, jobs, family, wounds, dysfunctional background] just as, hopefully, our [churches, jobs, family, wounds, dysfunctional background] is/are more than us!

    the trick to all of this is – if we are going to label ourselves – pick a label that is the biggest possible box we can see, and then figure out something three steps bigger! otherwise, the box transmogrifies into a coffin, even if it’s a really really big box – but we’re flipped downward and looking at the bottom of it instead of flipped up and seeing that the lid is gone and the sky opens up to the magnificent universe above!

    probably until this very moment, almost no one knew that I am secretly a huge fan of Max Headroom, cheetos (fried, please, if at all possible), and blue raspberry snowcones. [if churchy stuff is our only interest, how uninteresting we are!] OMG, and then there’s guessing the herbs, spices, and other ingredients in exotic fods. and movie adaptations of Jane Austen novels, and Thai cuisine, and American Idol (sorry, the third season only). and figuring out fun gifts that cost less than $3.00 to give friends, and picking up litter near my home, and …

    … and, you’ll be fine … from what i know, it seems your “box” is as big as the universe …

  14. Well, being from Seattle, I’m a amateur connaisseur of microbrewery beers, but have never been a fan of Guiness. My husband, however, thinks it’s fantastic. :)

    I’m not sure that a person moves from deconstruction to construction in a linear, once-and-for-all manner. I think there are seasons, but I expect both deconstruction and construction to be a part of my life as long as I’m a disciple of Jesus. He consistently deconstructs my misguided mindsets/behaviours and constructs new revelations/paradigms and behaviors in their place. So, I see it as more of an ongoing process (even though there may be seasons where one is occurring more than the other).

    My husband and I were just talking about this the other day: how perhaps it can become a distraction to analyze and talk and talk, rather than just focusing on doing it. I do find it incredibly helpful to process externally, and to hear and learn from others. But at the same time, I don’t want my energy to be consumed by that element in such a way that it distracts me from ‘just doing it’ (to quote some Nike wisdom of the ages)… :P Anyway, whatever you write about, I’d be interested to read. :)

  15. Grace I’m sure that you will be passionate about what ever you do and that it will bear fruit.

    I passed the link to your series about spiritual abuse to someone close to me who is going through the same thing. This was their response:

    OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is more than eerily alike. Downright FREAKILY. Thank you so much. It is a huge comfort and confirmation. I will be sharing this with others … please keep praying for us. It has been so very hard.

  16. (A) Guinness is the preferred beer of good theology.

    (B) Welcome to the wall-hitting club.

    (C) Have another brew and relax for a bit.

    (D) I seem to recall you mentioning Forrest Gump awhile back in regards to this blog; something about blogging, and then just stopping.

    Just don’t delete anything. There are valuable resources here.

  17. Oh, one other thing. Guinness might be the beer of good theology.

    Murphy’s is the beer of great theology.


    I also suggest a good mead for balance.

  18. Guiness-shmuiness … there are plenty of good brown beers out there without resorting to over-priced, over-marketed, over-done black tar in a can. Might I suggest something more local? A microbrew perhaps …

    I’m at the same wall … I couldn’t care less what’s going on and I’m alright with that. It’s a relief to hear that I’m not alone.

  19. HEY!
    I know …. maybe you could start a new blog and call it;


    (sample letter)
    eh hem…

    Dear Grace,
    I haven’t slept in days…
    I am a 40 something year old charismatic christian woman and I am dating a conservative Baptist who doesn’t believe that God performs dental miracles anymore……is this wrong? Are we un-equally yoked? Please help…

    What do you think?
    It might be fun! :)

  20. joseph,
    You might be right. ;)

    You are definitely right about writing as a process of discovery. Today when I emailed a couple of friends, just attempting to explain this brought more clarity for me. It still surprises me that the process is often feel-write-know instead of feel-know-write.

    LOL! I think that I’ll skip the Joels and go straight to the bath.

    I’m sure that I’ll keep blogging, but about what? Who knows. We might all need more brown beer.

    Great job on your creativity. I’m afraid my talents don’t fall in the areas of poetry and cartoons.

    For me, the feeling hit so suddenly. It feels as if I quit something. I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to figure out what I’ve thrown in the towel on. I’ll probably post more in a few days when I have words. At least I’m in good company. :)

    It sounds like the time is coming close for your plans to be launched.

    I’m still skeptical about black beer. Hanging out with Jesus is the only thing I’m sure of. One day at a time is probably a good idea.

    Yes, that’s pretty much it, no perfect system (apparently others have already figured this out).

    Usually somewhere beyond my confusion is an opportunity to grow. You definitely should write about your milestone. It is good to have a record of the healing process and to make note of the progress.

    It would seem my passion is being redirected. I’ll join you in a pale ale while we wait.

    Either an oasis, or I’m about to throw the infamous baby out with the dreaded bathwater.
    I don’t even know what murphy’s and mead are.

    You are interesting. A bigger box sounds good.

    LOL, dark night of the blog.

    Wise words. This is definitely not a linear progression. It has been helpful to process the things I’ve learned about church, but now it’s time to let go of it for a bit.

    As always, we’re on the same page. ;) We might have to start a club.

    My prayers are with you and your friends. It is really hard, and sadly almost all of the stories are so much alike. I’m glad the posts were helpful to your friends.

    I forgot about the Forrest Gump post. I looked it up. I’m supposed to be done on Sept.25 of this year. I am 6 months too early to quit. I think I’ll just step back and take a deep breath. Maybe I’ll wait to have my first guinness with my canadian friends (unless it’s black tar).

    It’s a relief to hear that you are okay with not caring less also.

    Well that’s a creative solution. :)
    The dental miracles probably aren’t an issue, but I suggest that sleepless take mr conservative out for drinks and dancing before making a serious commitment.

  21. The key problem with equating Guinness with black tar is easily solved — note that Sonja used the phrase “from a CAN” (emphasis added).

    Blasphemy! Guinness is best sampled “on tap” in a proper pub. And Canadians for company is always a good thing, imho. :)

  22. Thanks Grace.. I’ll be sure to pass on your most excellent advice! (see…you’re brilliant at this!)
    Seriously though… I really love this site.
    It’s very encouraging spiritually.

    And… I get to learn about beer!

  23. I recommend the Starfish Manifesto by Wolfgang Simson – you can download the book for free on the web.

    You’re way too radical to go back.

    I feel like so many are standing in an airplane (like a paratrooper) on the way to the battle zone – just waiting to jump into action. A lot of us are looking at each other saying “are we there yet”?

    I’m pretty sure most of your bloggers are going to jump right in. Into what?

    Maybe its a field of barley and hops?

  24. Grace,
    I know you know I was only kidding about the Joel’s. But I remember one time – and this was quite a few years ago – when I had hit up against a wall, a wise old sage told me, “Dan, you should read some Robert Shuller or somethin'” (Yeah, the Crystal Cathedral guy!). And I said, “What?!?” He said, “Hey, I don’t agree with his methods or theology, but I don’t think methods and theology are really what you need right now.”

    So… I don’t know what I would suggest you read, but it seemed like a good story. :)

  25. Even on tap, Guiness is highly overrated :D imho … however in the company of Canadians, I imagine it would taste better than black tar. I still prefer microbrews and the occasional Old Peculier. A good Sam Smith’s Oatmeal Stout is pretty wonderful as well …

  26. Peggy – I am right with you – I wish I could find people ready to go beyond the “talk” of missional and actually get on with it. It’s not something you can do on your own.

  27. I really don’t care how how anyone does church – true, I think we should care, ‘how we do church’ – by the way I enjoy your blog greatly, I often sneak in here, I have discovered many wonderful truths, and I thankyou for that. Blessings.

  28. You guys are funny.

    Robby, Deb, Mak, Davida,
    Pull up a stool and grab whatever is your favorite. I’m glad you’ve chosen to hang around here sometimes.

    Where the heck is your blog? :)

    Can’t go back, can’t go forward. That seems to be the problem. I’ve read part of Starfish. I’ll have to look it up again.

    Someone was recently telling me about oatmeal stout with ice cream in it. Have you ever tried that?

    It is nice to have mates to walk with. For me, I think part of becoming missional is something that I have to do alone – a becoming that includes changes in my heart, my seeing, and the way that I choose to live and follow.

    Thanks for the lesson, but I think I will have to taste the different types to “know” them.

    It’s nice to meet you!

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