I’m currently listening to a podcast from The God Journey called “Why Religion Doesn’t Work, Part II”. Their discussion is touching on the anger that people within the religious system tend to feel when they’ve done everything right, performed to perfection, and still, bad things happen to them or they aren’t getting the results they expected from good behavior.
For many years I’ve been angry, furious even, because I’m hungry for something that I’m not finding in church anymore. During my senior year of college (a christian college) the anger began. Shortly after graduation a friend and I wrote a song (Ordinary Sunday) that touched on the disillusionment we were both feeling and we decided to sing it in church…
In the light of day
I rush to hide
From a gnawing vacancy
In the dark of night
I cry to know
What you cannot describe
And i can’t seem to hold
Do you see me as lost and hungry
Do you know that I’m not okay
We shake hands and pray together
Casually discuss the weather
It’s just another ordinary
It’s just like any other day, it’s
Just another ordinary Sunday
I can’t remember the rest of it right now but I remember that after my friend and I sat down from performing it, after the applause, the guest speaker stood up and asked the piano player to come to the front and picked a song out of hymnal for the congregation to sing together. I don’t remember that song either, but I remember his mannerisms and it struck me that he was asking this song to be sung in response to what my friend and I had just shared.
Apparently we had offended him and God and singing a hymn was going to make everything okay. And I think that fed my anger. This song was very personal to me, an essay on my recent experience in the church, a cry from my heart for something more, and this religious leader was quick to cover it up, to numb people’s minds with a dreary hymn we’d never heard of before.
I think I learned then that any disillusionment I felt was illegitimate and I should just get in line, obey and be happy about it. So I tried. I’ve been trying, even after giving up on regular church attendance. But I can’t tamp down this hunger that is in me and I have no idea how to feed it or fill it. I know what I want, an intimacy with the Almighty God, but I have no idea how to go about developing that outside of the context of a church and it’s dogma of do’s and don’ts.
So I’m idling. Stuck in neutral trying to figure out what direction I need to go to find God. And I really want to find him.