Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why Are You Here

Hope you had a good week. I wanted to start by apologizing for this week's blog (I know, don't apologize, just move forward! Sorry (there I go again!)). It's been an odd week and I didn't get much tech stuff done this week. But I would like to share with you something I wrote back in January that I didn't publish. Not tech related, but more about service and thinking. Hope you like it.


3:00 AM, January 1st

"Why are you here."

It wasn't a question. It was a statement. It made no sense as a statement, but there it was.

"Why are you here."

Where were those words coming from?

"Well, I've thought about that a lot from a metaphysical point of view. Why are any of us here?" I thought.

"Why are you here."

That's when I realized, it wasn't a 'voice' per se. It was a thought. It was in my head. It wasn't my thought, but it was in my head.

I could see pictures in my head. People I know, enjoying each other's company; sharing communion; it was at church. They were sharing what they had to help others. I was sharing what I had to help others, too.

"Um . . . to help others?" I thought. My high school teachers would have asked 'Is that an answer, or a question?' It was a question. Someone had to ask a question, and the 'voice' in my head wasn't doing it.

I could see people I had never met before, but I knew them. Is this something that will happen in the future?

"Where am I?" I thought.

"I'm in bed. It's still early. Go back to sleep." I answered myself.

That's what got me thinking. Not just the big question of why are we here, but the question I asked my kids about 10 years ago when we were "church shopping".

Every time the Air Force moved us to a new base, we looked for a new church. "Church Shopping" is what we called it. Sometimes we found a church we fit in with. Sometimes we didn't. With a family that is 4/5 introverts, it's hard to find a place where we all fit in. Sometimes, we settled. Sometimes, we just avoided the problem, and slid back into our 'overly relaxed' ways. No contact.

The last move put us here in the Washington DC area. We actually lived for a year within the boarders of the city. During our church shopping trips, we decided there would be an outer fringe we would not break. No more than 30 minutes travel on Sundays to get to church. That narrowed it down to 3 places. They were about the same distance from where we lived. One was a big congregation with a deaf ministry and a large teen group (and we had teens at the time). One was a medium congregation of mostly older families with few teens, but a large pre-teen group (we had a pre-teen). The third had some teens (not many), lots of little kids (8 and below) and a small overall population. They were struggling to stay together. I guess there were less than 10 men in the congregation. They had a new minister who had just returned from being a missionary. He had lots of interesting ideas about the New Testament. Some people considered him to be controversial. He had a heart for Muslims. He, with lots of help, translated the New Testament from Greek, Latin, and Aramaic into simple English, and then into Arabic.

Where did we decide to "go to church"? Of the three choices, two had something we needed. The third needed something we had. We decided to go with the third.

It's been 10 years now. The church has grown to about 80 or so members, and more men then we can schedule in a month's time. One question keeps ringing in my ears: "do they still need what we have?"

"Why are you here."


Anonymous said...

Hi Phil,

Loved this post. Very interesting and before you mentioned it, I thought you'd pick the third one too.