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the polarization of people in my age group

Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I have resurfaced here again. It seems the weeks just sort of float out of my grip and suddenly it has been a long time since I have written. I guess that is good in some ways because I am certainly staying considerably more busy than I was when I first got here. The needs of people take first priority for me, and my office at the Eubank campus is certainly not set up at all or I would have written long ago out there being terribly bored at some point or another.

As far as my job goes, I feel like I do little but when I start listing it out it is turning out to actually be a lot. I think the most exciting thing for me is that I'm leading a Bible study with the group which started yesterday. That is so much fun for me and I think I really picked a very good study to do. It goes through the Apostles' Creed and explains what that means as being a basis for Christian thinking. I can agree with that. :-)

I've been doing a whole lot of running around, and working and living in two places hasn't been too easy. Thankfully the living in 2 places is done until January starting Thursday. Though I've been asked to do some more housesitting the week of Thanksgiving, I think I just need a little break to recooperate.

So on to the topic of this post... I've been reflecting on my struggle to find like-minded individuals within my age group to converse with. I made a statement of admittance this week to my friend Karin that I am struggling with being lonely. I don't really feel like I fit in very well with the people at counterculture because I know that my theology differs greatly from them as well as a lot of my stances on issues both social issues and even many political issues. Though Central UMC is considerably more in my end of the field as far as those things are concerned, I lack people in my age group to hang out with and feel connected to. This isn't a huge problem because there are plenty of people 10 years older than me that I agree with and can talk with, but they are in different life stages than I am. Most are married, have kids, etc. So I got to thinking about the people in my age group. Say anywhere from 20-30. This decade to me seems to be one of the more polarized decades. At least where I am here, (and evidence of that being the case elsewhere) I see two extremes, and very little in the way of a center path. There seem to be people who are either far right, ultra-conservative, often (but certainly not always) very condemning of anything "worldly", and completely concerned with how to convert people... save them rather.

On the other side, there seem to be people who are completely disconnected from the church, are often wonderful people, but those who see some of the hypocrisy within organized religion and run screaming. Often it is people like this (at least ones that aren't connect deeply with the idea of nihilism) who end up making the biggest difference for others. They are often labeled as spiritual but not religious, agnostic, or atheist. I often want to embrace that idea if only to distance myself from those who don't seem to pay any attention to Christ's greatest commands. The problem here is the call for community. It is SO very important to me to be a part of community of Christ because without that connection we fall into the traps of forgetting the significance of trying to make this world a little bit better before we die and join God's kingdom in heaven. We are God's kingdom on earth, and if we do not try to make God's kingdom better in everything that we do, ultimately we are not glorifying God.

I think it is this polarization that is causing me so much trouble in finding people that I can truly connect with. I don't really know where to start. I've started with those I disagree with but are my age. I'm not getting that connection because I know that fundamentally, my thoughts and beliefs are strikingly distant from those I worship with. I'm trying so much to look beyond those lines but motivation for our faith is important to me. I want some people that I can connect with, perhaps just have coffee with now and again, go to movies with, anything. Finding that here is proving difficult, but I am certainly committed to the continuation of my search for that. Any ideas? Or am I just out of luck in the search for finding like minded people in my age group?

a new car.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Adventures in car buying happened today. What did I end up with? A manual. Do I know how to drive a stick? Not so much. So I'll be driving around the parking lot here at church for awhile until I get the feel for it. Hopefully it will work out ok. So far I've done all right. I mean I did get to the church from the dealer's. Wow what a crazy day. Here's my new car! (Yes I am aware that it is a wagon but it is a cute Saturn wagon and it suits my job well too)

so where have i been lately...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005
I feel like it has been forever since I last wrote anything of substance. That's probably because it is true. Splitting my time between two offices is slowly starting to drive me crazy, but the benefit of that is having our own space. At this point, I spend Monday and Thursday completely out at our other campus (calling them the Central campus and the Eubank campus is my bosses husband's idea and makes it look like we are that much bigger and cooler). Tuesday and Wednesdays are half at the church and half on Eubank or so. I'm also back at the housesitting thing so I'm splitting my time where I live as well. It is absolutely insane.

It is in times like these that I really have to think about slowing down, sometimes I can get so caught up in the craziness of it all that I can forget why I'm here. Lucily I have a couple of loving communities of faith that keep me in check, but I have to say it isn't always easy. Every day I have new challenges and instead of being frustrated and angry I have to remember that ultimately, God is in control of every situation. Even though I'm still seriously stressing about car buying, I know that I have to place that in the hands of God because once again, completely in control. I've found myself thinking of the human condition lately and find it often difficult to understand why we suffer. I think that though is constantly in my mind while working with our families, hearing stories from them about lives that are in desperate need of changing and every time it seems to get a little more difficult. In the end, I know that God is there, and in control of every moment. Most often the way I see God's will in this world is through compassion. The irony here is that without suffering, there would be no opportunity for compassion. Now I am not saying that God wills horrible atrocities into existence so that we might show compassion, but rather that the human condition is such that we create our own problems and God's answer to show us that He cares is that we feel compassion towards others. It breaks my heart when that compassion is not displayed, and instead that human condition once again takes over and produces thing like hatred, greed, and anger. We are not faithful to the teachings of Christ if we lack compassion for others in times of need.

I'm starting to plan fun things for our families, first off is to take them to the balloon fiesta on Thursday morning. Next week I'll start a bible study with them, but first I have to find some resources. Maybe I'll go look for them this afternoon. In other news, it is freezing in my office.

balloon fiesta

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Once again busy week, but here is a picture from the balloon fiesta this morning.
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