I wonder what response that title produces in you? Does it strike a chord, sound familiar, reasonable?
What if I told you I was leaving Heyford Park Chapel because I couldn't take any more and was upset and disappointed about the changes in leadership above me and the things they wanted to do? Would you be surprised: and would some of you would probably be quite pleased, if you were honest with yourselves? And would you then expect me to wander off, losing direction, gradually drifting away from the church and then my relationship with God, as so many seem to have done? It's certainly happened to apparently better, stronger Christians than me, as well as weak, un-discipled and immature ones.
It's a scenario that has been playing out in my mind quite a bit over the last few weeks.
There has been an almost unbearable desire to step down, to walk away completely from the Chapel and church in general, to 'be free' to do what I want to do, please myself, to decide that holy-living was really repression of good and natural desires. Buried in there was a desire to "let people see that things would fall apart if I weren't there" and to let them struggle to fill in the gaps we would leave. This is real - I'm not making it up for effect - and the pressure from feelings, worries and frustrations has almost consumed me a lot of the time. There have been little gaps - like a day spent fasting and an hour or so praying over 'lunch' where it felt like I'd heard God, before a return to almost un-relenting pressure. There was a warning about where this was going too, through someone quite unwittingly making a comment about the fate of another ex-leader, and I could hear God's voice quite clearly behind that one.
Lets just say I've had a lot more fun at other times than this.
What am I going to do?
It's a good question, and much more difficult to answer with honesty than I would like. Writing this helps, because it creates a public line in the sand, and it's also helpful in the way that trying to write forces one to put order on the chaos of emotional thought. It also makes one step back and ask whether this is God's voice causing the confusion, feelings of hurt, upset and frustration..... and if it isn't then who else have I been listening to? You can work that one through for yourselves.