Do you ever get the feeling your life is like the movie “The Matrix”?
If you haven’t seen The Matrix, it is about the true, real world versus the false, controlled world. The red or the blue pill. The challenging or the secure. You either live in one or the other. You can’t live in both.
What prompted this line of thinking was that I tried an experiment. Let me tell you about it.
Even though I love the internet and our online community, I really miss meeting withlive people in a room. There’s a different kind of energy. So, I’ve organized some local TLS events. I rented a very nice meeting room at the local library and announced the events online. The turnout has been meagre.
At this point I’m not sure what to do about it. Should I continue trying? Or should I take this as a sign?
Yesterday I was visited by a honey-bee that hovered in front of my face for about 15 minutes. Maybe some of you saw the picture I took of it on my Facebook. It was during this very surreal and contemplative period I realized that I’ve been trying to live in both worlds. The Christian world and the post-Christian one. I’ve been trying to hover, suspended between the past and the future but not in the present. It’s a hesitation to moving on.
This isn’t to demean Christianity or the church. There are some of you who are still in it. And I applaud you. I still love it. So, this is to try to explain that I somehow no longer seem to fit in it. I am in a kind of no-man’s-land… in between the church and the complete lack of it. Very few people live here. I know many of you do. Hovering like a bee.
Here’s what I’ve come to conclude: you can’t live in both. I mean, the bee did hover for a long time. But it can’t stay there. It either has to come or go. There’s work to be done.
But I have to tell you that it takes a lot of effort to let go of the old world. The Matrix. It’s hard to let it go! It’s so much more comfortable, familiar and secure.
On the one hand, it was so meaningful. It makes up a huge part of who I am. It’s like it is sewn into my DNA. Kathleen Rietz posted on our Facebook group something like this:
“I am realizing today how much of my spiritual journey has shaped who I am and how important it all has been in my life, even if much of it is now an unpleasant memory… I never thought it would end up being that important, but I am discovering that my story runs both broad and deep.”
Then again, I recognize that even though it is an important part of who I am, it no longer determines who I am or can be. Even though it shaped me, it doesn’t handle me anymore. It was a launching pad, not an anchor.
On an episode of West Wing that I watched recently, a therapist tells Josh that the sign that you are cured of PTSD is that you can remember the event without reliving it. Yes! Can I remember and even embrace my past without having to relive it over and over and over again in everything I think, say and do?
Can I live free, a brand new creation, each and every day, with a brand new bright horizon ahead of me, without living under the shadow of what I came out of?
Isn’t this our question, TLS?
So, back to my local TLS events. Am I trying to revive my church experience or resurrect my pastoral vocation? Am I trying to repeat the previous? Am I still somewhat caught in the mental church/pastor paradigm mentality and still haven’t learned how to live and do completely free of its determining power? And am I not communicating some kind of confusion to those I’m trying to help because I’m confused myself in where I stand?
I insist this doesn’t reflect a hatred for Christianity or the church. I love it. But I feel like a young adult who has realized it is time to leave his family and house and perhaps even his country of origin and move on into his own destiny. I really do think the Church and Christianity is morphing into something that looks nothing like what it came from. Just like a corn stalk looks nothing like a kernel of corn.
I still choose the red pill. I wish I could forget the blue one quicker.
Isn’t it amazing the kinds of thoughts a tiny bee can evoke?
With a love that isn’t confused at all,