Monday, September 23, 2013

Getting over it

...sort of...

Rejection sucks. I know. It's one of my things. A lifetime of rejection has left me feeling...uhm, rejected? (I'm a really good writer.) It's affected my relationships and my friendships and my internal dialogue. It's affected the way I think and the way I react and ultimately the way I worship. 

So imagine my reaction when my friend and worship team compatriot decided to leave the church over theology issues. I was...nonplussed. I was insulted. I was angry.

(See what I did there?)

I have father issues, in case you didn't read any of the eight years of posts on my old blog, and one of the biggest was rejection. So now, I (incorrectly) see it in every sideways look, every non-response, every negative answer. Anytime I'm left out of a conversation or joke, anytime I miss out on anything, anytime someone gets a job instead of me, my old insecurities flare up. In my mind, these people are willingly making a decision about who I am as a person or worker or leader, or they are making choices about my life based what they think about me personally. In my mind.

My problem is, I do annoy people. Not all the time, but it's there. And I'm so insecure that I notice the eyerolls and the head shakes because I'm constantly looking for them. Which makes it worse. I don't know how to not care. 

So anyway, this guy decided that his "theological concerns" were more important than the relationships he had cultivated over the past five years and left to find a church that would tell him exactly what he wanted to hear. (Can you tell I'm a little upset about it?) And actually, I get it. That's kinda the point of denominations. Worship with like-minded people, with people who like to worship the way you like to worship. Only, this guy likes to rock out and his new church doesn't do that. And this guy is a total nut who likes to goof off, and his new church is very serious. I don't know these things about his church, mind you. I'm just speculating. To make myself feel better.

What I know is that, relationships were very serious to my friend and he just...dropped them. Well, not exactly. Actually he spent the first five months after he left calling all of us every night to hang out. Until his wedding, where five guys from our church were his groomsmen. After his wedding, we've not really heard from him. 

What would I say to him if I were able to handle confrontation? I'd say, "dude you were wrong. Your theology is flawed but that's not even the worst part. The worst part is you let your theology become more important than your friends and your community. You constantly seek out arguments under the guise of theological debate. You left for a bad reason. You're a great guy and you've done a bad thing badly and left a lot of people in your wake.

And I'm no different."

My stuff has consequences, too. People are affected by what I do. Especially for someone in my position, who has a lot of influence and a lot of visibility in the church. Someone who has the opportunity to make things happen. My choices, my mistakes, affect people. I'm a staff worship leader, a band leader, a home group leader, partial leader of a second home group, and I'm in a relationship. There is no chance that my dumb choices don't hurt at least one person on any given day. Maybe mine aren't so visible as leaving the church, but are affective nonetheless. (Yes, I made up affective.) (Or DID I?)

So, I've had to learn to put down my feelings of rejection and hurt, of anger and resentment and my need for some sort of emotional vengeance and realize that my friend was trying to make the best decision for him and his fiance, and despite thinking he made the wrong decision, I know he prayed about it and talked about it with multiple people, and did his best. And he loves the Lord and the Lord loves him, and in the paraphrased words of John Wimber, we'll get to heaven and realize all of our theology was wrong somehow and just laugh. 

In the meantime, when he finally calls me up and tells me he wants to hang out and watch Fringe, I will gladly accept and go pick up some pizza and spend time with my friend. And it will be alright. 

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