this is where i’m at…but i digress

Greetings,

It’s been awhile. Five months. Joyful times and trying times. Aimless yet hopeful. Aiming yet unsure of a target.

I know I’m not alone. I don’t know which was worse. When I was in my early 20’s I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was solely present-minded but not in a good way. No prospects, aspirations, or dreams. Now in my mid 30’s I feel like I know what I want to do yet it’s either too lofty or grasping for the wind. I moved to a big city (Philadelphia) thinking I would find something of substance but, as of yet, nothing. Don’t get me wrong I’m enjoying many aspects of Philadelphia like the food, activities, sights, street fairs, brews, etc. But I haven’t really found my place. I didn’t find my place where I previously lived either but that was due to other factors like family drama and passive aggressive family member going behind my back to break my then girlfriend now wife apart. I needed out of there. Now we are thinking of moving elsewhere in a few years. I’d like to live in a city where I don’t have to fear school aged children while walking across them on the street since they like to randomly attack people but I digress.

I also have an issue with shame, lack of self-confidence, latent anger, jealousy, etc. I can’t even count how many times I’ve threatened to delete my blog since apparently no one cares when I share them on Social Media. I did delete my blog’s FB page due to lack of any traffic. I desperately want to fit in and be not only accepted but approved and honored and celebrated, which some may say is unhealthy. But I don’t think it’s necessarily unhealthy. We are all individuals seeking to make our own stamp on the world but within a community of mutual respect and honor. I have yet found said community. The current fellowship I go to was amounting to a great church with people who looked after others and attempted community but found out, though I probably am judging with incomplete knowledge, there is community but the usual clique type community. Popular, hipster, millennial types. Church is less about being a community but more about serving the community. Church is life to some but that just isn’t my flavor. I love openness and togetherness. Diversity in community where every single person has a voice and something to offer, not as a commodity, but as an integral stone is the church God Himself is building that is outside four walls or a fog machine. I’m just being honest and may offend some but I feel it needs to be said. I mean why would believers need to schedule time to just chill only if nothing is happening at Church? Can we just hang out without it being scheduled in the Church’s bulletin or FB event? But I digress.

Back to shame and such. I know that everyone won’t honor everyone and everyone isn’t the QB/Pastor who gets all the attention and gifts and support. There are a lot of us on the line who protect, serve, and support those who say they care but hard to see it in action. On the flip side even public honor of another can be done as an honor to one’s self. I recently wanted a clip of a church who ordered pizza and made the delivery person come on stage and give a $100 tip. I mean, hey, I’d take a $100 tip but it seems—though I can’t judge their heart—that when you have to do it on stage with a radio voice and give it $10 a time to emphasize how great it is just seams…inauthentic.

It’s not wonder that Arthur Burk has teaching about Life After Church because so many people are leaving the institutional church for real community. Where everyone has a voice and not just the QB who wins the MVP. What if all the corner churches and mega churches stopped having Sunday morning services where we hear one sermon rehashed from last year and heard what the whole body has to say. What if what Joe has to say will set Paul free but will never hear because the “Man Of God” is the only one anointed? What if rest were actually practiced in fellowship? What is noise did not equal worship? What if sunday’s sermon did not equal intimacy with God? What if we, as a body of believers, actually starting growing up and fending for ourselves? What if we left the milk behind and ventured towards the carving block for a good slice of prime rib? But I digress.

Back to shame and such again. I want to be a celebrated individual within non commoditized community. What if honor is based and not placed. What if we honored people based upon God’s innate nature within them and not a false honor placed on someone due to their gifts or what we can get from them? We each have intrinsic value which reflects the nature of God. I sick of this more of God less of me bullshit. That was specifically regarding John the Baptist’s ministry. It must be more of God and more of me because I am an heir of God and co-heir with Christ. We are laden with guilt in the form of false humility. We have a glory people! Jesus has given us the glory to God gave to him and until we see ourselves and other that way the shame that I struggle with will continue to be a struggle. We…I…continue to resurrect the dead old man and live the law that we can’t fulfill. But I digress.

So what do I want for myself and family? Above all else to be where God wants us. To find our place as living stones in the river of God on this earth. I feel called to prayer ministry and teaching and writing(all of which will probably never pay the bills). I also would absolutely love to create a retreat for those who are living the above. Where they can come where there are no schedule or calendars. No pressure or stress to server or entertain others. A place of community where solitude and engagement with others are equally celebrated and supported. For the leader or the layperson, the pastor or the usher. The person who sits in the back pew or red cushioned chair with the plastic caps on the end of the chair backs. Where the communion table is not a preserved “grape” juice and paper wafer but a table of conversations and real food. A place where there are no positions, offices, denominations, or titles. A place where a suit and tie doesn’t make you more spiritual and a shirt and cargo shorts doesn’t make you “less religious”. Pretense and pretentious free. Where numbers don’t matter and intimacy isn’t on a scale to be judged by others. But I digress.

It’s hard to be in a holding pattern. Not knowing where you are or where to go can be quite frustrating. I can only do what I know to do until I know to do differently. I’ll work my IT job for as long as I need to. It’s not my passion but I’m doing it. I wish I could be one of those who never have to work a day of their life’s meaning their vocation is their passion and they are good at it. I want to also have a nice sized family and be able to provide for my wife all she needs and wants. I above all else want us to be and to do it together as a team. But so far I feel a failure at most of it right now. I’m overweight, not making monetarily what I need to have a family, don’t have a suitable house for a family, live in a city where it’s hard to raise a family, and hard to find encouragement to get to where I need to be. Like most men it’s hard to need somebody else. But that’s what I need. I wish I could find someone who can be a mentor in my life. Someone has the time and mutual bond to do so. I just really need encouragement. But I digress.

Thanks to those who’ve read till here. This post has really been a mixture of emotions, thoughts, ramblings, and heartaches. Deep down I am hopeful and optimistic. At the same time I’m fearful how others will react to this post but here goes nothing…but I digress.

 

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Copyright March by: Jordan Gresczyk

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18 comments

  1. Thanks, Jordan. I, too, want that place, but am wondering if, in this transitional time, we are supposed to “be” that place individually….for all around us? Jesus did “Send” persecution on the church in Jerusalem to get them to scatter and spread His life. Perhaps we are in different places, but recently as I struggled to deal with bothersome stuff I heard, “what if it’s God?” For me, it was a good word – struggling to handle things as I’ve always done, but there is a better way – just to be open to His original design that may look different than what I had thought or imagined. What if it’s Him? I like Rom 12;2 – change my perspective and be transformed….this is helping me – don’t know if it resonates with you – but it’s my story – and REvelation says it’s the blood of the Lamb and the word of our “story” and not loving our lives to the death that overcomes the enemy. Hanging out and sharing life without it being a ritual – sharing our stories and His life where each has their own voice – each being taught by the Holy Spirit and sharing it. Etc. I think we are in this transition, and I am resolved to “being” whatever His original design for me is – unpacking all that God put in me – don’t know what that looks like, but following after Him and staying open for more revelation as He leads. Words are so very inadequate! Speaking life and light to you and to all of us as we seek!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good to hear you pout out your heart in being authentic…many people are afraid of being themselves.
    Also glad to hear this is where you are at but won’t be forever or permanently.
    Transition, seasons and phases. The irkness and discomfort usually from my experience gets you ready for the more you come.
    I’d say feed on the word of God as much as you can..I recommend Graham Cooke ‘s teachings and enjoy being who you are. Things might not have worked our well andall but God is still good and alive. Keep hoping and keep trusting.
    P.s
    Being celebrated and bring honored is an innate desire God placed in each one of us because we are created in his image. No shame or pride.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. From my point of view, you should not look for someone else’s approval for nobody can live your life as you cannot live others’ life. Just look inside you and believe in yourself! Do not look for failure as a failure but for failure as a lesson you need for your evolution. I am sure you can do it! Life is too short to live regretting and/ or looking in the past. Live here and now and look for the positive part of everything. I wish you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s a tough place to be – that in -between space. And it is a surprisingly lonely journey when you decide that you want an authentically Jesus-centred theology instead of continuing to participate in the narcissism of the social club the church seems to have become. I know the feelings well. I can’t offer to be a mentor (not nearly qualified for that) but I am happy to be a companion on the journey?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Up here in NH we’re in the midst of God’s work of creating this type of community. When we all have come from traditional church backgrounds there can be a lot of entrenched ideas to overcome. But he is faithful to complete the work he started. Community is a gift, for sure, and not a right; I find that loneliness happens even in a group, sometimes. But I’m thankful for the communion we do experience, and the especially the peace I have with God. My confidence in him grows daily. I pray that you’ll find contentment with God and peace with his plan for you. He’s good! And I struggle with many of the same feelings of shame and guilt and honor… I’m with you, brother. Let’s give these pains to the Physician.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Jordan,

    Wow! Just wow!
    I can relate to most of what you’ve shared here, because my journey as of late has mirrored so many changes that you’ve expressed (change of location, love for family, desire for more of God and His will for your life, prayer ministry etc – although I quit the IT industry a couple of years ago). Strangely, I was searching for some details on an Arthur Burk teaching I was listening when I came across your article. So, if you’ll indulge me, just wanted to encourage you on a couple of points:
    1) You have a real gift of expression. Keep writing. Keep expressing yourself. Some of the deeper answers you talk about (eg shame) will come from expressing, as you have in this blog. Sometimes the expression of what troubles us and our pain gives you the clarity to know what you really need from Him to know what really is the problem. Sometimes expressing this to a trusted friend is just as good. So ask Him for the knowledge to know the right relationships where you can be as honest, transparent and vulnerable as you have been here. Once you have that knowledge, pray. Pray the answer. Pray the reverse of the problem. Pray the solution into existence.
    2) I was really drawn to your article mostly because of your passion – to see God’s desires become full in your life, your wife, your family. Don’t loose that passion. Guard it and nurture it. You can’t get stuck if you continue to pursue. God gave you passion, keep seeking Him and pursue His answers passionately.
    3) Being in a similar place within the Christian church, I feel like I’m straddling the fence with regards to Christian Community. My experience is that real (and passionate) people often get caught in the machinery of “doing church”. There must be good churches out there but there also but there’s a lot of ones with programs and religiosity. So I’ll be praying you find that right one.
    4) My two favourite authors right now are both Arthur Burk and Graham Cooke. I’m seeing a great crossover with both of them – as they refer to similar concepts but from entirely different directions. Highly recommend Graham Cooke’s Way of the Warrior if you feel that you were designed to be a warrior or just struggle to know how to fight and win! Also Arthur Burk’s from Shame to Dignity (I have that one but haven’t got around to listening to it yet)

    Keep going. What I read says you’re on the right track. Be encouraged!

    Liked by 1 person

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