Your Restlessness Is What Is Right With You

David Werbrouck's photo "mewhere at Museu del Disseny de Barcelona"

You used to be a real keeny. You prayed for, and attempted to convert, your non-Christian friends. You raised money for mission, perhaps made a short term mission trip. You might even have performed evangelical street theatre. You were clear what you believed, and you were on fire for God! But then… something happened. Something sudden and dramatic. Something slow and gradual and only visible by hindsight. But something happened, and now, on the rare occasions that you go at all, you’re standing in the back row of church, everyone else’s hands raised in exultant praise, and thinking to yourself: who are these people? Was I ever like that? You know that people are talking about you, worrying for you, praying for you (because they’ve told you.) You’ve got questions, you’ve got doubts, and, increasingly, you feel like it might be easier to just not bother any more.

But, somehow, you can’t quite just step away from the whole thing. Something draws you. Your restlessness is what is right with you, as a nun once told a class I was in. You are not satisfied with what culture has to offer. So you feel a bit trapped.

What you are feeling – it’s Biblical. All through history God raised up prophets, who experienced a holy discontent with how things were being done and spoken of and even thought of. Perhaps this applies to you. Perhaps you are someone who wants to see what else God has in store for you?

Conversely, you don’t want to necessarily throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is certainly true that if people sail away from their safe harbour, they can end up in all sorts of unexpected places. It is entirely possible to throw away Scripture and all the good stuff our tradition has to offer. But, then again, it is also eminently possible to respond to the deadness of your experience of church by digging further in. To find a party of fellow adventurers, to share notes, maps, helpful approaches and to accompany one another on the adventure.

Christian apologist G K Chesterton, writing in a more coal-fuelled age, wrote “If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must be always painting it again…. Briefly, if you want the old white post you must have a new white post.”

That’s what we are doing at Cafechurch. We think there is good stuff to be found in reading Scripture together, the deep conversations of Christian theology, and living out of it as a community. Cafechurch isn’t for everyone. Your leading edge might well be to stay put, to dig in, and live well where you are. But if you have a sense that further exploration might be not just an option, but necessary for your spiritual survival, then Cafechurch might be a place where you can thrive.

Cafechurch: Deconstruct and Reconstruct your Faith. Tuesday nights.

Photo by David Werbrouck on Unsplash