19 December 2007

I just want to know

I'm frustrated.

And the more I read and pray the more frustrated and desperate I become.

I envy my friend who converted to Catholicism. I really do. He's settled on this and happy. I'm neither. The matter isn't settled for me. Not in my head, not in my heart. I'm unhappy with my own personal spiritual life and frustrated with the confusion. I can't seem to reconcile all the conflicting data. Meanwhile I just want to be closer to God but don't seem to feel that happening. And the old evangelical standbys of "just read your Bible and pray" or "have a daily quiet time" aren't cutting it. It's just not that simple. At least not for me.

We like the Anglican church we're attending, but we're torn. Still trying to sort out what's best for the kids and wishing we could combine parts of the Methodist church we were attending (specifically that children's program) with the liturgy and reverence here. I wish I knew more of the hymns. And it would be nice to feel more settled on the question of paedobaptism.

This is hard. I think I believed I was done wrestling with the big theological issues after I got past my "cage-phase" Calvinist years. I couldn't have been more wrong. And while at times it's stimulating and exciting, right now it's tiring and frustrating and confusing.

And I think this is the best I'm going to be able to do to put the myriad thoughts swirling around in my head into words. Please pray for me and my family.

9 comments:

Brian said...

Are you reading my mind?? :)

I just turned 40 back in November and I'm quite sure I don't want to be in this state of flux where I'm not sure about anything. I mean, do I really need to figure everything out all over again? And worry about how it will affect the kids? It would be so much easier to just go with the flow but something inside of me won't let that happen either.

Like you, I just want a couple of things settled. Most of which revolve around just what church should be and how much doctrine should matter(oh, and which ones). Not too much ask for, is it? :)

Thanks for letting me rant. I'll be praying for you as your journey continues.

Ragamuffin said...

I hear you.

I feel like God must be doing something really cool, but at the same time I'm just so restless and out of sorts.

Keep stopping by. I'll check out your blog and maybe we can give each other some much needed moral support.

Qatfish said...

I know it's probably not going to be a comfort, but I do think that the restlessness and disquiet, the frustration and confusion, the "not feeling closer," and so forth, may be an important part of your journey. Life isn't simple, neat, and clean. It's ongoing conversion and renewal. Mess and struggle are part of it.

Red Cardigan said...

I'll pray for you, Ragamuffin, for the clarity you seek.

As a Catholic, I do believe that Christ intended to found a Church; I believe that Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, and I believe that the Catholic Church continues to be that Church which He founded as the ordinary means of salvation for His people.

But I know that there comes a time when we are searching for truth in which it seems as though we are playing a game not unlike a blindfolded game of tag; but if we hold still a while, sometimes we make it possible for Truth to find us.

God bless.

Ragamuffin said...

Qatfish said...

I know it's probably not going to be a comfort, but I do think that the restlessness and disquiet, the frustration and confusion, the "not feeling closer," and so forth, may be an important part of your journey. Life isn't simple, neat, and clean. It's ongoing conversion and renewal. Mess and struggle are part of it.


I suspect you're right, but I guess I feel like I still have to vent and be honest in the midst of it. And the thing that exacerbates it is my tendency toward analyzing things to death. I try to give all sides reasonable consideration but sometimes you get decision paralysis and wonder if you will ever know with any comfortable degree of certainty. It feels precarious.

All I know right now is that I'm enjoying the Anglican liturgy right now and actually plan to visit an Anglo-Catholic parish that has daily mass/Eucharist on an upcoming business trip. I never would have made it a point to visit a local Evangelical church during the week because frankly, I can hear a sermon and lite rock worship anytime. Spending time in reverence and reflection and receiving the Eucharist is special.

So I just hope that God continues to draw me in to Himself even if I'm not always perceiving it as much as I'd like to. By faith I'm trusting that He's leading me through this process.

Qatfish said...

I guess I feel like I still have to vent and be honest in the midst of it.

I agree. And especially to God! Let him have it. He can take it. :)

Just be careful, because he'll probably give it right back to you. ;)

eulogos said...

Have your read Newman's "Lead Kindly Light"?

It starts "Lead kindly light midst the encircling gloom"

I'll google it.


The Pillar of the Cloud (Lead, Kindly Light)

1 Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
2 Lead Thou me on!
3 The night is dark, and I am far from home --
4 Lead Thou me on!
5 Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
6 The distant scene, -- one step enough for me.

7 I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that Thou
8 Should'st lead me on.
9 I loved to choose and see my path; but now
10 Lead Thou me on!
11 I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
12 Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

13 So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
14 Will lead me on,
15 O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
16 The night is gone;
17 And with the morn those angel faces smile
18 Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

John Henry Newman, Cardinal

Susan Peterson

eulogos said...

Shoot, I meant, "have you read?" I hate typo's.

I realize the post is nigh a year old, but maybe you are notified of new comments anyway.

Susan Peterson

Ragamuffin said...

Thank you for that Susan. I do get notified and appreciate it when people go back and address even older posts, because frankly, most of them are still unresolved.

God bless.