Monday, June 23, 2008

Back to normal?

Well, I guess I'm getting back to normal since I got back from DC.

That sucks.

I don't want to be normal. I want to be doing something special. I feel like something in me is yelling out to go back up the mountain.

At the same time, I feel like it's "down here" where I really need to be (not to be confused with the band downhere) . And it's hard to do that, I'm finding.

Go back with me, if you will, to our first morning in DC (Fri, 6/6/08). We're up and out of the church by 6:00am to travel across the city to So Others Might Eat(aka SOME). We're on tap to help setup and serve breakfast and lunch at their dining room. SOME isn't the biggest outreach and kitchen in DC (we went there later), but they do feed around 800 - 1000 meals per day.

Upon arrival, we met our humble and helpful host, Tony. Tony gave us the lay of the land and fielded many teenage questions from our group. He was very gracious throughout. Then it was on to the dining room for the next 6 hours. I managed the dishwashing detail for all shifts. That meant that me and oen of our high schoolers made sure that we always had enough plates and cups for the dining room. Sounds easy, but here are some numbers to put it in perspective: SOME can seat 100 people at a time, they turn each seat about every 5 minutes, and they have less than 200 plates and about 150 cups. Let me tell you, we were up to our elbows in grits and eggs at breakfast and then covered in chili and soap suds at lunch!

All the while, we got to meet and talk with the homeless and hungry of DC. We got to work with an amazing group of full-time staff and volunteers. We got to see the love of Christ in action everywhere we turned. Six hours went by way too fast.

I could see the youth we brought with us seeing it too. Most of them had their world views expanded, even cracked open, in that short time frame. I admit that mine was stretched too. It would be again and again throughout the week.

Thus began the mountain top experiences. I felt liek I was miles above normal. I felt like I was really connecting to God and working for Him. My heart took Colossians 3:23 seriously for probably the first time:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Col 3:23 - 24, NIV)

It was so easy to be that way. I was away from most of my daily routine and responsibilities (no work calls/emails/SMS, no daily commute, no church committee meetings), I was in a different geographic location and culture (Dupont Circle in DC is a whole lot different than suburban South Carolina), and I was spending day and night with a group of people that I didn't normally spend much time with. It was like being a different person without being a different person. I'm not sure that makes sense...

Now I'm home. I'm back at work. I'm in the daily routines. It's not easy anymore. Eddie recently tackled some of this when he talked about feeling uninspired during the "good times" in life. That is, when things are normal and going along OK, we can lose the grip on our dependence on God.

Maybe that's where I am. I'm back to the things that I feel like are mine. In DC, I was unencumbered and out of my element. That's where I found God waiting. I mean, He's always there waiting, but back home I've piled up a whole bunch of stuff (work, family, routine) to make a wall that shuts me off from Him.

I know I don't like that wall. I know it's not the right way to live. I know it needs to change to stop blocking me off from God.

I just don't know how right now...


Evan Rummel said...

Dude that is totally where I'm at now. Content with mediocrity...

Not a fan but when we get into a routine at this point then it seems "normal" to be unhappy. Lets hope for both our sake we get out of our ruts and back to being dangerous for God.

Praying for you brother :)

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post. Do you mind if I use part of it in the SOME newsletter? Thanks, Tracy

Bubba said...

Tracy, feel free to use anything from the post or the blog as a whole. We really enjoyed serving with the staff at SOME and we appreciate all that y'all do.

Thanks again, Bubba

eddie said...

great stuff, mate!!

We all struggle through the dreaded malaise. I'll be praying for you!

Amaranta said...

Good words.