Monday, December 8, 2008

Still Haven't Found (What I'm Looking For)

"For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God" (Hebrews 11:10)

There is something about that U2 song "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" that never quite clicked with me. These days, however, I have been thinking a lot more about it. Something about it has come to capture the ongoing changes in my spirituality -- especially when it comes to the church.

I love the church -- always have, always will. But in all the years the church and I have danced together, something has eluded me in my relationship with her. I admire her inspired expressions -- the great preaching, the music of praise, worship and devotion that has both brought me to my feet and put me on my face. The care for one another and the sense of history and perspective I have learned from her. The community and connectedness I have experienced within her fellowship. I love it when I see the church engage the great social, moral and cultural issues of our times with integrity, passion and authenticity and I love seeing the vision for life together in Christ being reborn and reshaped in each new generation and in different parts of the world.

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

That's the conclusion I came to the other day. I have had moments, pieces, glimpses of "what I'm looking for" in and from the church throughout the decades. There are aspects that have answered my "deep calls to deep" longings for the Kingdom of God I have experienced via church life. But my search continues nevertheless.

As I step our into our new church network endeavor and refocus my life around house church and simple and focused mission, it is awakening something that has felt neglected within me. It feels good -- and a bit strange -- like a reunion with an old friend that is at once invigorating and awkward. Nevertheless, no matter how wonderful things may become in our new endeavor, I'm sober about the fact that there is no perfect and lasting modality of church. There is no church group, no form, no ministry, no leader or doctrinal sweet spot that gets it all done for all time. I have resigned myself to the reality that, while on earth, I will ever be a pilgrim searching for more of the heaven my heart cries out for.

So, for now, what I can say with certainty is this: "I still haven't found what I'm looking for -- but I'm closer now than I have been for a long, long time."

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