Today was the sort of day where it was easy to feel a sort of divine discontent. Of course, some of that comes from sleeping abominably, even by my poor standards, and that does not set one up for success. When I arrived at services today in time for the Bible Study, I made a note of the times that a comment or behavior struck me as problematic. I wanted to see what sort of patterns existed in what bothered me, and whether a weekend like this, where the majority of ladies were absent at the Women’s Weekend down in Canby, would present particular problems or irritations to me given my own fairly consistent set of irritations. Indeed, that proved precisely to be the case, much to my irritation but lamentably not to my surprise.
Some of the moments occurred between the Bible study and services. For example, I was chatting with a couple of friends and one of them, wishing to express God’s love of family, talked about how God loved family so He shared it with others. Of course, being someone for whom my longings for marriage and a family of my own are notoriously frustrated, it was not a pleasant conversation topic, even though it had been made in order to please someone else. It is hard, I suppose, to remember that some people both like to encourage and cheer on others and have some pretty fierce areas of personal sensitivity. It is not always easy to remember that sensitivity and respond thoughtfully to it. Shortly there after I was enjoying some fine snacks and a girl was trying to get some fruit juices poured by her slightly bigger sister, and the girl was not having any of me helping her out, glaring at me rather suspiciously for my troubles.
During services itself there were at least a few comments that raised my hackles. One of them was a comment on the demographics of our church, which stated there was about 1/3 between 0 and 30, about 1/3 between 30 and 60 and about 1/3 over 60. I wasn’t particularly happy about being lumped in with the middle aged folk, as that is a particular sore spot for me personally. Worse yet, others in the audience knew I wouldn’t find that a particularly enjoyable demographic dividing point either, and guessed accurately as well on that. Then there was the joke about many guys being bachelors for the weekend, another joke that I did not find particularly enjoyable. And then there was a comment in the excellent sermon, about which I will ponder much, that it was mainly in the past that people would give a wide berth to avoid the potential of contamination from others for religious reasons, which may be true but is not helpful when one is treated like a leper for other unrighteous reasons.
Towards the end of my time at church, there was a girl who was playing with a necklace and lost her heart-shaped jewel when it flew off. As I tried to console the nearly inconsolable girl, I wondered if my own frustrations were not somewhat similar. What is most wanted are a few simple things hard to find and difficult to keep, and without those there is no consolation, nor pleasure. If we are people of very specific issues, then what do we do about obtaining that which we seek, or dealing with the fact that sometimes it simply cannot be found, or sometimes we are continually reminded of what we want without any good fortune in obtaining it? Small wonder there is such discontent.