Pete and I took a vacation. We really couldn’t afford the time or the cost, but we did it anyway. This past year was intense, to say the least. It seems we went from one crisis to the next. Both Pete and I were looking a bit glassy-eyed, and we hadn’t had a decent conversation in months. We needed time with one another and time with God, so the day after Christmas we packed the car and headed east. We didn’t come back until we were ready to face life again.
So, here we are back in Colorado, substantially poorer and with almost 6,000 more miles on our car. Was it worth it? You bet!
Over the past few months I’ve written a couple of blogs about my confusion over how to “do” church—one in April and one in May. I explained that at our current mega-church, I felt more like a member of an audience than a member of a family, and that I was exploring other options. At the same time, my husband emphatically wanted to stay right where we are, and I wasn’t going to make any changes without him.
It seemed like a stalemate. Happily, God is pretty amazing. In His wisdom, He had the situation under control and a solution was waiting for just this moment.
Last week a friend asked me how our church was doing. She used to worship there too, but a life crisis sent her searching for something different, and she’s been a member at her new church for three years now.
I answered the way I usually do—the church is still doing a good job on the things they’ve always done well. The sermons are biblical and engaging, the music has a world-wide reputation for excellence, and the staff is dedicated. Short-term mission teams are being sent out and a new project will focus on the needs here in our city. People are getting to know God for the first time and disciples are being made. In fact, it sounds just about perfect.
Then she asked a harder question: how am I doing with the church? And I had to truthfully state that I’m frustrated.
I call it “Carb Café.” Of course, that isn’t the official name, but it’s the most descriptive. Like many larger churches, our church has an area where you can buy boutique coffee, breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Breakfast options include cinnamon buns topped with gooey white frosting, huge cake-like muffins in several flavors (including chocolate), and biscuits (white flour and shortening leavened with baking powder) topped with high-fat white gravy. There are over-sized cookies, sausage breakfast burritos (high in fats and cholesterol), and, for a time, Belgian waffles. A bit more healthy are the recently-added bagels with (full fat) cream cheese, sweetened yogurt, and “breakfast sandwiches.” To be fair, they also have apples, oranges, or bananas for a dollar each.