A common term in the communications world is "disconnected." There are numerous examples of times when you may have found yourself disconnected. Maybe it was that crucial phone conversation (remember, that's what we used to do before texting!) that you were desperately trying to communicate urgent and/or important information. Then suddenly, without warning, you were DISCONNECTED! Or your child's favorite device or cellphone that you were planning on using during a crucial road trip or time in the waiting room. You reach for said device only to find that instead of charging, it had been DISCONNECTED! There are numerous other examples of this desperate feeling of being DISCONNECTED that we face in today's tech world, but there is no feeling quite so desperate as being DISCONNECTED at church!
This reality or feeling is something that we all deal with from time to time. I describe it as a reality or feeling because there are so many factors involved that may or may not be reality. While we feel disconnected for one reason or another, there may not be any change of relational barometric pressure causing this storm. It very well could be your own personal upheavals that you are facing. I cannot in this article make a broad generalization by saying that all such feelings are simply one's personal insecurities or fears, but I do believe that the key in facing such issues must begin with that which we have control of...ourselves.
The simple truth of life that people will think what they will and draw conclusions based upon limited evidence are all facts of life. Regardless of what someone may think, we can stay the course and be consistent with who we know ourselves to be and that which God has called us to do. We must never fall victim to the snare of becoming a politician or hypocrite who seeks to alter their personality based upon the relational metrics of a given situation or relationship. At the end of the day, we are who we are and some people will love it while others despise it. That's just life. Even Jesus, the Son of God, was not liked and appreciated all day, every day. Why should his servants be any different?
So how do we begin with ourselves in these situations of feeling DISCONNECTED?
Pray- Far too many times we fire off a text or an email to figure out what only God can help us either understand or have peace about in our lives. Have you talked to the God who not only created your muscles, skin, organs, and sinews, but also your very emotions? I am confident that he understands much more than you give him credit for.
Ground yourself in the Word- God's Word is a powerful force when we daily submit ourselves to it. Paul didn't refer to it as "washing with water from the word" in Ephesians just for the fun of it! God's word has so many healing properties that we once again underestimate on a regular basis.
Seek counsel- If we are facing a season of disconnect, maybe there are areas that we are drifting in that we need to pay more attention to. When there are people who are doing life with us on a regular basis, they may not have a crystal ball, but they can speak truth into our lives that only a precious few are able to do effectively.
Be intentional- When relationships are strained are we dedicating time to them in social engagement as well as intentional, planned times of connection? Relationships are organic to a great extent which also implies that they require nurture, pruning, and growth.
Are you not only seeking strong relationships but being relational in how you live your life. In your search for good friends are you being a good friend?
These are just a few truths for the reality of our human condition. We are all susceptible to these feelings at times of disconnect, but we don't have to dwell there. Much like the baptist church that we attended in Costa Rica that was named Iglesia Bautista de Desamparados our name may even be "forsaken" but that does not mean that we are in reality as forsaken as our situation or location may appear. We must resolve to keep running the race which means that we persevere through the dry seasons of life and seek to thrive where God has planted us until he makes changes.