Are there times you feel like you are on "Auto-Pilot?" You know...times you're just going through the motions. You're doing what needs to be done, but there's no enthusiasm...to the point you wonder what has happened. Lately I seem to feel that way. I have experienced failure at a goal I was working towards lately. In the midst of that it hit me that I'd experienced failure at something much more important - church. Thing is, I'm not even sure when it started happening - it could have been years ago. Or the many ways that it's happening. I love my Bible study and Sunday school classes, but other than that, I seem to be adrift. Oh, we still come to church on Sundays, but I'm not making any effort to come to the mid-week Lenten services or participate in our strategic planning process - which the pastor has asked me about. No matter what the excuse, truth is, I feel stale; I feel like my input doesn't matter.
Don't be confused, I haven't given up on God. I still have my quiet time; still enjoy preparing for Bible study; still love my worship & praise music; still hear God speak to me through His Word. In fact, this morning He spoke to me through Ezra 3. The first thing the people did when they returned from Babylon to begin the rebuilding process in Jerusalem was rebuild the altar and begin regular sacrifices. (Note to self - sacrifices need to be made.) Then they began the process of rebuilding the temple. When the foundation was laid, the people praised the Lord. But the older people who remembered the beauty of the former temple wept aloud. Close your eyes and picture/hear this - there was a worship service with music and song. There were shouts for joy for the progress they had made and at the same time weeping for what used to be. Verse 13 says, "No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away." (Note to self - you can feel joy and sorrow at the same time - and others may not be able to tell the difference because of the noise!)
At least God has begun the process of working on my heart. I'm aware of the dullness now. And I know God won't leave me this way.