Transaction-Based Interactions...

I've mentioned recently that my church (as well as many others in Cincinnati) is taking part in something called the Consumed Journey. We're taking a serious look at our over-consumption and the dissatisfaction of our hearts. It's pretty rough.

Last night we went though an audio/visual prayer experiment. It was pretty decent overall...high-quality experience for sure. The thing that stood out to me most was a room I stood in where the audible voice (we wore headphones) asked if I was living my life in a series of transactions. This hit me hard.

I've been totally stressed out for the past couple of weeks because I have 20 different things going on that need money thrown at them. My wife and I try to live as generously as we can, but I have to admit that my hands start closing around what I have in times like this.

My conversations start to feel awkward and strange because I'm not one to hide what's going on. I hid things for way too long in my life and it never helped anything. So now when someone asks me how I'm doing I find it difficult to paste on a fake smile and tell them everything is great. Everything is good...really good in fact, but I am dealing with some stuff.

So here's the rub - I'm totally fine to tell people the truth, but then I start worrying that it's some kind of a Poor me, can you please help? conversation. I don't want people to think that I'm looking for something from them...but you know what? Sometimes I am. Sometimes I'm secretly hoping that they'll give me money, or that they'll help me out in some way. Sometimes I do nice things for people for the express purpose that they'll return the favor. I suck.

Time and time again I've seen God deliver in ways that I couldn't imagine. I always tell people to trust God and that He'll come through for them...why can't I practice what I preach?

I feel much better after the prayer experience last night. It calmed me down and got me refocused on what's important. Moving from a place of scarcity to open-handedness and trust is tough. It's worth it though.

3 waggish utterances thus far...:

Helen Ann said...

I was pretty moved by the experience as well...But I did face some stuff in there. I realized that I still, even after all this time and growth, still struggle with the same old crap. My brain is like a broken record sometimes. I got so depressed about that that it took a long time to find words to write on the gratitude canvas. I also had a really hard time in the "Receive" room. I stayed in there for a long time feeling stuck and far from God. I really thought that I would leave the experience this year feeling anxious and tight-chested. But then I sensed God telling me that I was trying to be responsible for things that are his responsibility and that I needed to let those things go. That helped alot and I left with a renewed passion to just be myself and do what I was created to do.

Then I saw some friends from church and chatted for a bit...But no one told me I had a booger hanging out of my nose!

DanThoms said...

Hey wait a second, you mean I was supposed to give you something in exchange for your leftovers :)

Laurie said...

This post blew me away and I want to comment on it but I'm not sure what to say.

Maybe it's because I don't want to admit that I'm the same way. I'm ashamed to admit that yes, sometimes I do manipulate people.

I suck too.