I had a good talk with My pastor Jay on Monday. Jay and I have been meeting once a week at breakfast for close to a year, and I enjoy the time immensely. We have had some really incredible and deep talks, plus told a few jokes, shared sad and difficult things, pretty much ran the gamit of experiences.
Well, for the last month and a half or so, we have not been able to meet. That prompted Jay to write me an email outlining a few things we had been working on together, and asking what we should do with those, since we had not touched base in a while. I responded back by saying that we needed to get together to talk, since I was feeling a bit “disconnected”. Here is what his response said:
“Connection” is an interesting concept. There is physically connected, politically connected, relationally connected, socially connected, emotionally connected, and of course a spiritual connection. Then there is the whole fact / feeling competing realities. I often find identifying the true source of me since of disconnection challenging. Sometimes I even find it easier to remove the sensation of disconnection or the cautious awareness of it than actually resolving the actual source of my disconnection.
Hmmm, great fodder for thought there Jay. Funny thing is that my statement was made a bit glibly, and I did not intend to create a sense of alarm in Jay, but I think I did. I sat down and thought about it a bit deeper. How disconnected was I really feeling? What was I disconnected from? Should I be concerned about it? How should I fix it? Did I need to fix it?
Later on, Jay and I talked and pondered this together, and we came to a couple of conclusions:
- Jay is concerned about people getting disconnected, but possibly because he is so sensitive to getting them connected in the first place! Disconnection, even for a short period, seems like the enemy to him at times, which I understand. It would be easy to have an overreaction to that, or to feel a sense of alarm.
- I feel a pretty tight connection normally, not just to Jay, but to my church — The Chapel. That is a great thing!
- A lot of my connection is because of activities I do that keep me in the circle of people who also are heavily involved at The Chapel
- If I do not maintain a certain level of that activity from number 3, I will start to feel a sense of loss of that connection.
- It is because my activities with Jay and The Chapel are bringing me closer to Jesus that I feel that sense of loss. It is like when you pull back from a fire and you feel the loss of that great heat. I like being next to the heat God produces in my life!
- I think that differing levels of connection are okay, and will naturally occur if we apply our Christian life to being “relevant” to our everyday life. We just need to keep our “perimeter alerts” on for straying too far away. If we dive too deep for too long, we lose sense of what is going on in the world and could become isolated from people who need to see our lives. I personally did experience this a bit when I got too involved in Chapel things, and neglected my job, and possibly even my family a bit.
- I must conciously seek opportunities to be involved in a way that will keep my “current” flowing as I plug into things. Activities come and go, and if we do not move forward to other things, we will fall into inactivity, which could result in total disconnection. But…, we need to guard against over connecting as well, that will result in burnout, and ultimately yield the same result as inactivity.
- I need a “Holy Group” (John Wesley’s phrase for a small group of people that meet regularly to pray, counsel, and hold each other accountable) to help me with my daily struggles. I have depended too much on Jay to supply that need for me. I did not do it conciously, and do not regret one moment of conversation there, but I need to branch out and depend on others, plus allow them to depend on me. Think of how strong a fibre that weaves!
Now I still want to meet with Jay regularly, he is a friend that I value my time with. We have great conversations, and they are not all about me by any means. Sometimes they are about him, or others we are attempting to reach out to and help in different ways. But I should never depend on him to uphold my spiritual or church connection. His job is to love his people (and I know he does), not drag them through their Christian lives. He leads us to Jesus, then humbly steps aside.
My pastor is awesome, but he’ll never admit it! 🙂
We have to maintain our own connections and encourage others to do the same, which is what happens in a “Holy Group”.
Now I just need to figure out who should be in my “Holy Group”!