I’ve always wanted to start something that way, maybe I’m extra in touch with my feminine side or something. I should warn you all that I’m in a bad mood, and the contents of this post may offend. I might even delete it later. Who knows. If you’re reading it, enjoy it while it lasts.
A week ago I was pretty sure that Townsville was home, and Brisbane was just where I used to live. Tonight I’m not so sure. I think I’m feeling the first pangs of loss. I don’t know what set it off (actually I probably do, but it’s just been a progression of events rather than a single event). I think it’s the realisation that proper relationships with people take longer than 12 weeks to develop. It’s possible that throwing myself into the deep end in terms of my involvement with church up here has been a mixed blessing. On one hand I’ve developed relationships with a bunch of people really fast, but on the other I haven’t taken the time to get to know people in any deep or meaningful way. So now I feel relationally in limbo, and I think my visit to Brisbane may have hammered it home a little (or a lot). Don’t get me wrong (and this isn’t just a disclaimer to appease any Townsville readers) I do really like the people up here. Hmm, there’s an old rule somewhere about not publishing things you don’t want other people to read. It also applies for not saying something in front of a microphone you don’t want recorded (there’s a funny story about a sportsreader who got caught out when a story ended with the words “he was suspended” and the newsreader added “by his testicles” because he thought the microphone was still off.). Anyway, I’m beginning to understand the importance of welcoming, and the fact that welcoming is an ongoing process. Welcoming is an interesting concept, and I’m not sure that any church does it particularly well. I haven’t been in this situation too many times before, and in the past the churches I’ve been welcomed to have been “dad’s churches” which, in my limited experience makes things feel easier. Although I haven’t had to go through the process of fitting into a new church for a long time, and last time I had to fit into a new school too.
Anyway, back to the theories on welcoming and why I think jumping into serving at church as quickly as I have may not have been the wisest move ever. I think ministry requires trust. That goes without saying. I think trust takes a while to establish. I think trust is earned on the basis of a relationship where you demonstrate a level of trustworthiness. I don’t know how long it takes to develop that trust but it probably takes more than 12 weeks, and definitely takes more than the 2 weeks it took me to get involved with stuff. I think, to paraphrase Paul, I can teach or do whatever ministry stuff I’m doing all I want, but at the end of the day, without “love” I’m just a noisy sounding gong. And that’s tough. And interesting.
So in conclusion, it’s been almost 3 months since I moved here, and I’ve only just realised that while I really like the people around here it takes longer than 3 months to establish real, deep friendships. Which I guess some people might have expected. I think I’m just a specialist at superficial relationships.
Anyway, it’s late, I’m tired, I’m grumpy and I’m annoyed. Well Brisbane people, it looks like I might miss you afterall.