Have you ever gotten the blahs? You know, that semi-serious condition in which normal routine activies that were once fun are no longer fun; and therefore it takes an act of extreme will to force yourself to do it. Sadly, thus is the case with me and blogging, at this moment anyway.
Part of this has to do with the different blogs I have been reading having cohesiveness, sometimes even in that it is a jumbled mess of information. Those of my clergy friends are theologically deep and meaningful. Those of my non-clergy friends are fun and witty or else incredibly informative and helpful. I find I cannot be either deep or witty in this extreme slump I am in.
Part of it has to do with the summer doldrums which should be alleviated to a certain extent after my vacation next week. Part of it is that I am being a cyber-recluse which matches the reclusive state of my physical being as well.
Jesus was that way. He needed a break. He needed a break from the crowds pushing in around him begging for something. He needed a break from his disciples who weren't quite getting the big picture. He probably in his humanity needed a break from who he was, the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man. Boy, I bet he needed a break.
So he tried to get away to the lake, but the people followed. And he tried to get away again, but the people followed. The only break he really got from the press of people was in the garden of Gethsemane and then of course, even his disciples could not watch with him. When he needed others, they weren't there for him. Then after the crowd turned on him, pressed in around him as he was being led to the cross, and suffered insults and injury at the hands of those he came to bring the message of Good News to, he died.
What I find interesting, jumping ahead mentally 2000 years, is that today, we again leave him alone. As we seek that time by ourselves, we don't take Jesus with us. We go on vactation and try to escape ourselves and who we are, even who we are in Christ Jesus. Sometimes people seem to take the summer off from church, then the next thing you know, the people who have been gone all summer from church show up in the fall with a "here I am, let's get started." Like nothing happened at the church from May to August.
Some of these people often have the "church blahs." Something once fun is no longer fun for them. They are burned out, a really serious condition that has done more to facilitate the decline of churches than any other condition.
Still others lack committment to discipleship. They are like the seed that was inadvertently sown on the rocky soil which took root, but when the temperature went up, they shriveled and died. They never cultivated the soil that their seeds must be sown into in order to produce abundant fruit.
Everyone needs to get away, from the pressure of the crowd, even from the pressures of church work and of secular work. But if we get away with God, that will enhance our discipleship and church involvement, not detract from it.
I am sure people want to know how I realize that they are sneaking away from their role as disciples in the body of Christ when they sneak away to the lake. Well, if any of you are reading this, it is by how you come back, and when you come back. Are you refreshed and ready to carry on with the mission and ministry God has for the church? Do you come back months later? Or do you come back in a few weeks with the strength of God and the enthusiasm of the Spirit?