Friday, April 22, 2005

[note: this is the actual text from an email I sent to a friend earlier today; names and all that identifying crap has been changed or deleted to protect the infamous]


Among the 658 things that have been brewing in my mind and soul since -- well, before my trip to Nashville for the ACPA convention, but they've kicked into over drive after that -- is exactly what kind of contribution *am* I making at Compass...namely, in this case, on Wednesday nights.

You don't know (...yet...) the sordid tales and heartbreaks of my life, especially in regards to my walk with God. As difficult as it may be for you to believe this, at one time I was considering going into the ministry full-time, doing sort of what you do -- youth ministry, although I have a real passion and desire to work with the "older" kids (high school/college/fresh outta). Why I'm *not* doing that is a tale best told in person, so I'll save that one.

Long story short about the Compass/W@7 Sonny-soul-searching issues: you can never know how much I have fallen in love with this family. Never. Man, there are days when I just want to cry tears of happiness when I think about how full my soul is when I interact with everyone there. I've NEVER been involved with any organization -- secular or sacred, for lack of a better comparison -- like Compass. The only comparison I've been able to use to describe it to other people is one that I'm sure I've mentioned to you: this has to be what the early church (like, in Paul's day) was like. We're a group of believers, of friends, making meaningful contributions to each other's lives, and we all pitch in to make the environment at Compass a welcome, learning, and LOVING environment for everyone -- from the "regulars" to the people we hope we don't freak out too much the first time they visit.

And because of this -- as well as because of who I am -- dude, I want to be involved. I want to be involved on any and every level I can be. If that means spending a Saturday tossing crap out of the back be it. If that means nailing trees to a be it. If that means going to be it.

I want to do as much as I can, every time I can, in every way I can simply because (a) it's giving back to people who have given me so much; (b) we're kinda sorta commanded to do so, and (c) it's me. It's my personality. It's my passion, my drive, and my calling (for want of a better term).

For the last few weeks, I've been...concerned...about me Wednesday nights. As in, am I really doing ANYTHING worthwhile by being there? I'm not the most gregarious -- I leave that to you (and Ashley to a degree). In fact, when I'm around uber-extroverts, even though I am an extrovert, my introverted nature comes to the front, because I don't want to send the people we're around into sensory overload.

I've worried that I'm not saying the right thing (if I indeed say anything worthwhile. I've worried that these kids -- that I love and have come to look forward to seeing -- just think I'm the odd old guy who hangs out to recapture his youth (which was so long ago, "recapturing" is impossible ). I've worried that I'm not contributing anything worthwhile at all...that I'm just background noise, a decoration, or at worse, a hindrance.

-- and no, I don't know why or where that comes from; self-identity and issues of worth have always been a struggle with me. Again...Sonny's back story is interesting and should be a freakin' mini-series on Bravo or something.

But...darn that PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE thing we're studying...that goes and throws my theory of how much I suck and how useless I am into a woodchopper and it shows me how much a total load of crap my issues are. In fact, the "extended study" stuff in the back of the notebook we all have (props up to Kelly for this) had the passage from I Cor 12 in it for this week -- the on about how we're the hands, feet, ears, etc. of the body, and how each body part is dependent upon the other.

So, that got me to thinking -- maybe I'm the spleen or appendix in the body of Christ: it's there, doing its job, and if it was gone, the body would be lessened. maybe I'm not really a spleen, but I refuse to give myself the comparison of a butt cheek or something.

Trust me -- I'm not typing all this to seek an ego boost ('cause that would be completely against WHY we/I do the things at the church -- this so ain't for my glory). Nor am I looking for any kind of a validation that I contribute anything/worthwhile to W@7 or Compass in general.

Again: this is just one of the MANY things on my mind as of late. I'm undergoing some major soul-searching issues.

For fun and annoyment: for all your Sonny-centered angsty pleasure.


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