Learning through Life

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Hampshire, United Kingdom
I love how our day-to-day life can teach us lessons to help us understand our past, challenge our today, and inspire our future. We can learn through experiences, situations, conversations, songs, books, nature ... the list is endless! Live with eyes ready to see, ears ready to hear and a heart ready to be touched.

Monday, 16 February 2015

The Death of Joy

We had our sixth meeting as LifePoint yesterday and for the first time it felt like 'church' to me. This isn't to say that the other meetings hadn't actually been church - far from it - church has happened through our 'normal' services, through Messy Church, and through our Costa gatherings; Church has happened whenever we have met together. But yesterday felt different.

Why?  Well, I have been trying to figure it out all day today. Because the truth is nothing different really happened. We met together, prayed, worshiped in song, gave notices (it can't be church without notices!!), got kids involved, shared communion, gave a sermon, and had tea and coffee afterwards. You know, the usual church kind of things!

But something had changed. It felt right. It felt purposeful. It felt like church.

So what changed? It wasn't the structure, the place, the people, and it certainly wasn't God. Therefore, it must have been me.

I have come to the conclusion that it felt right for the first time yesterday because of a change in my expectation, attitude and focus on the vision that God has given for LifePoint.

You see, I have found it very difficult to let go of my previous experience of church and this has impacted the way I encounter church now. Holding onto history has held me back and gnawed away at my passion to see the love of God impact and transform those God has called us to work with. I have hesitated when I should have obeyed and doubted when I should have trusted.

God has a new purpose and plan for my life, and a new community for me to love and serve, and this should have been at the forefront of my mind. Instead I have spent too much time looking back and comparing.

God said: 'See, I'm doing a new thing!'
Jo subconsciously replied: 'Great, as long as it is the same as before!!'

Mark Twain stated - 'Comparison is the death of joy'. How true! I have been doing far too much comparing, and this really has robbed me of the joy that comes with being in the will of God, especially when it comes to my experience of being church.

I love my previous church, and I always will, but continually measuring LifePoint up against it will only cloud my vision and dampen my passion to see the vision fulfilled.

How do we stop comparing? We look forward not back. We guard our thoughts. We stop dwelling in arenas that tie us up in history. We change our language from 'when we were' to 'now we are'. We thank God for the past, walk in the present, and celebrate the future.

Yesterday felt like church. A new church. A new way of doing things. A new purpose. A new community. A community of wonderful people meeting together in the presence of God to worship, encourage, inspire and to love.



My new family and my new home.

If God is doing a new thing in your life - embrace it - he knows what he is doing! New wine needs to go in new wineskins! 

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