Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Praying to a Bowl of Flowers

This was a comment on a post over at Naked Pastor.  It encapsulated a lot of my thinking this past year.

People have told me that church is for worship of God. 

Maybe that’s my main problem with it. He doesn't seem to be present, plus you can’t have a conversation with him, it’s all totally one-sided. 

It feels like me standing in front of a bowl of flowers or something and talking to the bowl and telling and singing to the bowl about how wonderful it is, etc. The bowl just sits there. 

Then the lady beside me says how the bowl told her something or made something happen for her recently.

I stand there puzzled and polite.

The comment was similar in tone to the kind of things David Sedaris wrote in The Santa Land Diaries. In it, David humorously recounts his absurd experiences working as a Macy's Santa elf one Christmas.

One of these days I need to pen The Church Land Diaries. I have very funny stories to tell.


Redlefty said...

Ah yes, you and I share some of this when it comes to prayer/worship.

Not to misspeak -- I completely believe in prayer and worship -- I just can't seem to do it right at church. My best prayers and worship happen elsewhere.

Would love to hear more of your own thoughts here since it's taken up so much of your mindshare!

atimetorend said...

I'll have to read the Sedaris book, 2nd time I've seen it recommended recently. I would definitely read your Church Land Diaries! Maybe you should start another blog for that, then you could cull material for your book from it. :^)

Andrew said...

Red - It is tricky to write about this kind of thing. I am rejecting various practices and beliefs as I hold them up to the light, but in so doing, I often bring offence to those around me. I have been defriended on Facebook a lot over the past few months... what is interesting, is that it is most often happening with those whose work is in the church.

ATTR - You can hear Sedaris reading it on Youtube. His delivery is much like Edward Norton's narration in Fight Club. :)

Kifer said...

First of all, Santaland Diaries is brilliant! Secondly, I literally laughed out loud reading the comment part. It was one of those "somebody else feels that way too?" moments. Great analogy, and the pic was perfect.

Bob said...

Here's a book recommendation: The Shattered Lantern: Discovering the Felt Presence of God. Ian Cron (author of Chasing Francis) recommended it to me and it helped me a lot with regard to some of the things you're talking about here.

Lou the Lawyer said...

You'll always be my Facebook friend! It is sad that those who are the most Christian among us are often the least Christ-like. Keep up the musings!

Lou the Lawyer said...

I would like to add that for me (and I am saying this is for me, doesn't have to be this way for anyone else), church is an opportunity to serve others. In doing so that pot of flowers seems more real because I am doing and not just praising.

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