We stay close to a mega church. This may have been a big bonus for us a few years back but as of late it has become nothing more than an irritation. Yesterday I found myself driving by the hundreds and hundreds of cars parked inside, outside and around the church and I once again felt a well of emotions rising up in me. As I start to reflect on these feelings I came to realize a few things. But first a bit of background around the situation.
We normally visit the in-laws on Sunday mornings for a classic cup of great coffee. This means we have to stop at the traffic light that is directly opposite to this church. This means that almost every Sunday morning we sit at this traffic light for almost 3 cycles as the eager church goers flood into the church parking grounds while traffic officials “regulate” traffic. We the non-church-goers have to wait a crazy long time before we can actually turn left away from the church and continue on our way. This frustrations the living hell out of me!
If we decide to drive the other way around the church we have to deal with the same church goers that stop in the middle of one lane road (no stop sign or traffic light) and make a U-turn so they can park on the sidewalk of the other side of the road (which is opposite the side entrance of the mega church). Once again I am forced to stop behind the quick buildup of cars as ‘Mrs. Daisy our perfect church goer’ looks for parking while breaking multiple traffic laws in the process. And once again this drives me insane!
Then lastly, it so happens every now and then on a Sunday that I find myself standing in a crazy long Woolworth’s queue with only 1 or 2 items to pay for. Why? As chance would have it I timed my visit to Woollies right at the exact moment when mega church ended and it’s ‘ law abiding Christians’s mass exodus from church lead half of them to Woollies.
The frustration and the reason for it is what prompted me to write down this little weekly event I have to deal with in an attempt to help me identify the cause and resolution. I am aware that my loathing of mega churches, what they stand for, how they operate and how far they are from being biblical may play some part in this (maybe)). But, where this loathing is against the system and it’s leaders my normal Sunday frustration is aimed more at the people who attends this institution. I am by nature a very relaxed person, and have almost mastered being in control of my expectations and emotions. But this church issue is getting the better of me.
I find it very hypocritical that the same people who attend this church and are supposed to be model citizens, obedient to the law, humble and loving send across messages of the exact opposite. They are the ones breaking the traffic laws and endangering the people driving past the church. They are the ones arrogant enough to regulate traffic to their own benefit so people can be on time for the service.They are the ones supposed to unite people and communities whether you are a member of the church or not. They are the ones that are supposed to set the example. And they are doing anything but setting an example.
Maybe my idea of what it means to be a Christian is so radically different to what is known today that I simply cannot associate a person who has a loving relationship with God or Jesus as possibly being a person who does any of the things these mega church goers are doing?
So know this church goers in all churches across the world: As you sit in your pew every Sunday praying for the world to be “saved” and get to know the Lord chances are “the world” knows Him and lives according to his example and will better than you do. Know that how you live in every detail of life as soon as you exit this building 1 hour from now is example enough for “the world” to decide if we want to be part of your little institution or not.
So what is the answer for me? How will I get over this irritation every Sunday? Well. I have an expectation that is not being met. I expect people, especially church people to adhere to traffic laws, make life easier for every one around them and generally drive like people who care and respect others. This expectation is not being met and this is the source of my frustration. So the answer is that my expectation needs to change. This helped me a lot with Taxis. If I expect the taxi to drive like a person that have complete and utter lack of respect for the law then I wont be surprised when he cuts me off or stops right in front of me.It allows me to become a silent witness, something Krishnamurti had a lot to say about. When we become completely aware, completely transparent, completely “silent” then we become balanced.
Truth is a pathless land.