I woke fairly early this morning, dreaming. It was not a troubled dream, but the recollection of it left me troubled. I rolled around on the bed a few minutes, then turned on the light and picked up my book. I decided that reading for a few minutes might settle my mind and permit sleep to return.
The few minutes I spent reading helped. It cleared my mind and after an hour or so I turned off the light and returned to sleep.
I pulled this image from my recent shots a few minutes ago. My first thought was “Going Nowhere”. But, as I reflected on the capture, a David Wilcox song came to mind and the line was “you were going somewhere” from the chorus of the song. I am not yet certain whether the intuition is for me or for someone else. Perhaps the walk this morning will provide some clarity.
I am not in the mindset to be going somewhere at the moment. I desire to be settled for a bit — to have some time to process my things and decide the minimum set that I want to keep and dispose of the remainder. I want some settled time to read, to think, to write, to work, and to make art.
My application for a position with BLM was not referred. I was a little shocked by that as my qualifications as a hydraulic modeler are excellent. Yet, I don’t know the BLM software (not a big deal, really). Regardless, it is what it is. The occurrence unsettled me a bit, but my mind settled back down after a couple of hours and I realized that I have enough work lined up to pay my bills. I realize I am old enough that I might not be hired for a full-time position again. The nature of things is that companies desire the young (energetic, enthusiastic, naive, and cheap) for many positions. Experience, perseverance, and a low bullshit tolerance are not desired (and come with age).
I am of a mind to be settled for a bit. After a year of wandering, I’d like to be somewhere for a bit.
When I woke this morning, a few thoughts came on the nature of legalism and faith. I attended a church here in Carson City last Sunday. I expect to attend again this morning. A few visits are required for me to develop a sense of what a church is like.
But I was particularly stricken by the talk of one of the elders after the meeting. At first, I felt like an outsider witnessing the airing of dirty laundry, but it was an open meeting and non-members were not discharged before he read a statement and then expanded what on what he read.
The gist of it is that one of the elders became concerned that the new pastor’s teaching on the salvation process was incorrect. The pastor’s order of events in salvation was incorrect. After a few meetings, the elder left and the congregation split (to make a long story shorter). Worse, calls began to members who stayed in which they were solicited to leave the church with the intent to destroy it by attrition. The elder standing in front of us was deeply hurt by this, as were the remaining members of the board.
As I reflected on my own experience with a church division my empathy rose for this small group of Christians. The struggle and hurt associated with an event like this are great. Some will struggle with their faith as a result. The onlooking world will sit in judgment (if they even care). It’s a terrible testimony when church division strikes.
I shake my head as I think about it. Yes, there are fundamentals of the faith that I think are immutable. Those are things that deal with the God’s holiness, human depravity, and the work of Jesus in redemption. Perhaps there are a few others.
But to divide a church over the order of salvation? I struggle with that thought and it leads me to think about legalism. Legalism and judgment go together and are a poisonous pair. I think they stem from pride and a need to be superior. Whether or not that is the case for this little church, I don’t know. In a sense, it’s none of my business.
But, I plan to attend again this morning and will eventually have to decide whether I will stay on for awhile or look somewhere else. I’m OK with that.
Yeah, the pastor is fairly young and inexperienced. His teaching seems solid and he bespeaks himself well. He seems scholarly as I would expect. I know nothing of his pastoral gifts and probably won’t for some time. But, I’ll give him some time.
A lot of grace is required between members of a church. Patience, forbearance, an unwillingness to be offended, and love are needed. They are the gifts and fruit of the Spirit. Legalism, pride, arrogance, and judgment are the antithesis of grace. They are deadly to the person who hoards them and their poison is easily spread, especially by leadership.
[Shrug…] So, after that wandering rumination, my intent is to stay here awhile. I like Carson City. I like northern Nevada winters. I like the Carson Range. I love walking with the Girl in the sagelands. And, I think I’ll visit this little church a few more times. I wasn’t an invisible man, although I received only a few greetings. I resonate with their current struggle, having a similar experience in my past. I want to see what the young pastor has to say and what he will do.
I think I’m not going somewhere… I’m staying here.
P.S. Oh yes, I remember what day it is. I still remember that morning with clarity. I will not forget.