Uniquely Made – I Am

Uniquely Made – I Am

IMG_1367I attended a church service last night at a new church plant near where we live. I sat in the front row, because that is where the only seats were available. I haven’t been to a church other than the one we attend weekly in a very long time. They were setting up the sound and musicians were practicing. Our church has traditional style music so seeing and hearing a more contemporary style was drawing me back to years ago and past church experiences.

As I sat there and the music began to play, the ensemble sang, they encouraged us to clap. They were really good! But, I felt something I used to feel almost every Sunday in my former church experiences. I felt as though I had to perform. I felt challenged to somehow experience something spiritual as the music played loudly. I felt conspicuous as my expressions and performance to me seemed less than others experiences. I just didn’t feel as though I measured up to.

As I processed my experience something new came to me. I often speak of the unique design each of us humans have. We are created with different personalities, different tastes, likes and dislikes. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. We relate to the world around us in our own way.

I had this thought; what if we also have different ways we experience the spiritual influences in our lives? What if we were not all wired to appreciate, receive, or even enjoy a group church worship setting? What if my response to the church service last night had nothing to do with my lack of spiritual response and more to do with the reality that I’ll really never feel the same things that some others may in a corporate church setting? I struggled with these things all through my former church experiences. For nearly 30 years I never seemed to get out of a church service what others seemed to receive and always felt somehow, well, guilty or challenged.

I went home from that church service thinking about all the wonderful people I met. Before and after, there were words shared, intimate life experiences related, hugs, smiles, connection was in abundance! I thought about who or what God might be.

I want so much to connect more with my new friends! But I don’t want to do that through a corporate worship service. I want to hang out, to talk, to experience their lives and have them experience mine. I want to know more about them. They seemed to be really wonderful people. I want more of that and less of the sitting in chairs in rows listening to loud music that I feel I need to somehow get spiritual about.

Am I that only one who thinks this way? Am I the only one who really doesn’t enjoy a traditional church service? Am I the only one who wants something different?

I’m still wondering how I can spend more time with my new friends. I really liked them. Maybe I can go hang out before and after their service and occupy myself somewhere different for the time of the service! I am uniquely made.

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4 Responses to “Uniquely Made – I Am”

  1. Jeanie Smith says:

    So agree! I recently attended a group meeting where we talked about this a LOT! Where people were honest–and allowed to say, “I just don’t feel the way most of you do about worship or dancing or flags. I find it distracting!” Are those people less connected to God–NO!!! They connect differently; and, many of them connect powerfully through one-on-one relationships and also through verbal expression. Thank you, John, for being you!!!

  2. John Smid says:

    Thank you, Jeanie! I wish I’d discovered this years ago!

  3. Denae Wood says:

    NO. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I love “visiting”. Really thrive in that environment. I just can’t do the other any more. It makes me tired and I just can’t pretend. There’s got to be a better way. Most of my friends that feel the same way are hesitant to “start” anything because no one wants “just another meeting”. The problem is real. There must be a better way. ❤️ Thanks for your honesty.

  4. John Smid says:

    Thank you for your ability to relate, Denae!

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