“So today’s service, we’re going to talk about confession.”
I like how my senior pastor talks about all these taboo topics in church service, especially when about half your congregation is more than half a century old. They hate topics like this, they love it traditional where the pastor tells you how to be a good person and how good people will be rewarded (My pastor is less than half a century old). I can’t seem to find a perfect Christian and that’s fine, nobody is perfect even when we strive to be and I find it such an incredible move for my pastor to say something like that, it is bold, it is scary.. but he did.
I remembered how I mentioned previously about the people in church, the fact that I always had this struggle on fitting in with them. Some of these people were just Sunday people, or people whom occasionally recognise you and talk to you only when they feel like it. They weren’t constant. They made me feel uncomfortable and awkward, it felt like I knew them but yet I don’t, these type of people made me grow further away from the church. But last year, it was different. Church life changed for me because I made an effort to change myself. I thought, I won’t let these people affect me. I tried to make an effort to get to know these people a bit more because to build a relationship with someone, you have to work on your part. If I had continued to keep my distance from the church, they would never get to know me. Therefore from there, I got to know a few more people and realised that not all church people were like that (but there were bound to a few bad apples everywhere you go… which I won’t comment further).
I created a little comfort group for myself. I selectively went to these few people I felt comfortable with in church to socialize with, if the others didn’t want to entertain me, I wouldn’t either. I figured, Well.. God has answered my prayers, He already blessed me with a small fellowship and I don’t need a big group of people. After all, as an introvert, I was naturally a selectively social kid from the very start. I dislike hypocrites. Big time. People who say things they hate but they do it too themselves anyway. That is one thing I get really worked up on, especially… when they do it to me. I didn’t really realize how much I was one myself until today. I felt so disgusted with myself, even now… I don’t even know what to say. There’s this pair of siblings in church whom I was never really close to but they were friendly to me. They definitely weren’t in my comfort group and they were the people in church you would only do small talk with or probably won’t talk at all with just random smiles of acknowledgement. I mean I knew who they were, but we just don’t click that well. However they knew my brother pretty well, but that’s my brother, not me. But, I bumped into them while we were overseas (without my brother with me), I mean seriously, what were the odds, same place same time and it wasn’t even planned. I had no idea they were in the country. We did some small talk which we never really did much in church. Half the time I was thinking, this is so awkward, but they are nice people so.. oh well.
I saw them in church today, they were walking right behind me to church. A distance short enough to say “Hello!”…but I didn’t, they didn’t, we didn’t. They definitely saw me and I did see them. It was strange because I knew them and we even met overseas, I had this internal haggle with myself whether to say hi but my shy introverted self thought it wasn’t really necessary as they weren’t my comfort group and that I should proceed on walking like I didn’t see them. I was the exact example of the people I hated. Knowing someone yet not acknowledging them. I was a hypocrite. I don’t know what they think of me but I had just created a whole new level of awkward that I intensely hate for myself.
To the pair of siblings, if you ever read this (though I don’t think you would and maybe you won’t because you don’t know my blog plus it’s embarrassing for me), I am incredibly sorry. This is something I have to seriously work on.
Even after a whole life-changing year and an incredible mission trip…. I still have social struggles. It’s something I have to live with and work on because, God bless me… I’m an introvert. Social issues are forever a struggle, if you think I’m good at it (socialising), bear in mind that a lot of energy is being invested in it.