The Long Hallway to the Back Door…

The last ten days have been, let us say, overwhelming. So I am a week behind on blogging.

Last week I posted on Facebook that I had deleted a long-standing commitment from my calendar. It represented many years of friendship, effort, and loyalty. It was hard to do. But necessary. Sometimes, something – a group, a relationship, a habit – robs us of life instead of giving it, Steals our joy instead of bringing it.

This situation took a long time to deteriorate. I didn’t wake up that morning and in anger say ‘I am done.’ I did say that day as I wrestled with my feelings and frustrations ‘I have had enough.’

As a pastor I realized this happens in the church. Sometimes people get angry or hurt in ¬†moment and walk away from a local church. But more often, I think, they leave slowly. They experience many small moments of frustration, hurt, exasperation. Not all of these can be helped or known. And we shouldn’t fret endlessly about how any decision will hurt people’s feelings or anger them.

It does mean that we should keep an eye on that long hallway to the back door through people most often exit – quietly, even silently. They don’t start down the hall to leave. They don’t set out to separate from the group. But when they find themselves far down the hall and close to that door, they sometimes slip unnoticed through it.

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