On the Bench in my Cave

Yesterday, I wrote a post about The Purpose of a Bible Study, and today I want to do a quick follow-up. The post was about the reasons I attend Bible Studies, and why I didn’t attend this week.

It most definitely wasn’t wrong for me to take a night off…

but something about yesterday’s post bothered me throughout the day, and I think I’ve discovered what’s wrong with it.

“I just wasn’t there…”

– that’s what I wrote towards the top of the post to let you know that I didn’t go to Bekah’s house and participate in Bible study; I wasn’t physically present.

But the thing that slowly occured to me yesterday is that the reason I wasn’t physically there is that I’m not emotionally or spiritually there.

By “there”, I mean that place where I joyfully take ownership over my Bible study, guiding conversations to those wonderful points of connection between two souls… those conversations that are God-centered and God-glorifying.

I could be the person who starts those kinds of conversations no matter what everyone else is talking about.

I’ve done it before.

I’ve seen other people do it.

Yesterday, as I was wondering what was jamming my brain, I remembered seven years ago when I first started attending a church called the Crossing.

At the Crossing, we had weekly Tuesday night dinners, which entailed our pastor and his family feeding us at their house in the middle of nowhere (deep in the OV). On those nights, we usually ate, talked, played poker (only occasionally), played basketball (once or twice), etc…

but we’d also talk about Jesus.

For a long time, I didn’t realize how intentional pastors Dave and Adam were in leading us into these conversations.

It felt like they just happened.

But the truth that I found out later, as I took on responsibilities at the the Crossing, was that it takes devoted servants to make those conversations happen.

I could be that devoted servant at my new church.

You don’t have to have some sort of title or official position to ask people what God is doing in their lives. You just talk to people.

But that’s what I’m talkig about when I write “I just wasn’t there”

I’m not a devoted servant right now.

You know how one of those books (probably Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) says that men go into their caves to solve problems?

I know I’m not a man, but I’m totally in my cave.

I’m reading a thousand books a day and playing a lot of video games because I’m not ready to be that devoted servant. I’m certainly devoted. I can feel God working on me.

But I’m also benched right now.

God benched me.

And I benched myself.

So I’m sort of watching the game, analyzing it, seeing what other players are doing and cheering them on.

I don’t feel ready.

I don’t feel ready to be around others, which is why I’m on the bench in my cave.

I’m thinking.

And it’s easier to think in here. In the dark. Without distractions. Without other peoples’ problems. Without emotions. Without anyone who is going to hurt me.

There’s no pressure in here.

Nothing I do actually affects the game.

Which is why I should probably come out of my cave soon.

I should be that devoted servant at Holy Cross.

What I experienced at the Crossing on those Tuesday nights was special, and I’ve never experienced it in quite the same way since… but maybe that’s because it’ takes intentional, devoted servanthood from someone who has experienced that which is special.

Maybe it takes servants climbing off the bench and coming out of their caves.


10 thoughts on “On the Bench in my Cave

  1. I think sometimes we work so hard to be just right for God when all He wants is our willingness to do it. The Holy Spirit will make it happen as He intends. And sitting the bench for a while is a good thing sometimes too!! I have loved your honesty in these last couple of posts!!!!!!!

  2. um, this is awesome. really great post, katie. i love your honesty. what can i do to help lure you out of your cave (with a bench, which is a nice perk for a cave :))? should we do it E.T. style, with a trail of reece’s pieces? i know you have so much to offer! you are really in the perfect place…knowing we have nothing to offer on our own, but then knowing we have Christ is us which is exactly what we need. i’ve been thinking about Gideon lots lately. he was pretty insecure/nervous/unsure when God called him out and gave him an assignment. he didn’t think he had what it took to be God’s mighty warrior. i relate to that. God was still able to use him. that encourages me. hopefully, that encourages you, too. you are God’s mighty warrior! so, get up off your bench!! holy cross needs you. you are a vital part of the body there! i feel a bit like i’m giving a half-time pep talk…hope it’s working 🙂 i know i’m pretty fired up about what you are about to do with Jesus! just keep your eyes on Him. He’s got you covered and will never steer you wrong. love you, sweet sister in the Lord.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, everyone.

      It really helps, and I’m slowly coming out of the cave.

      Probably too slowly… but slow and steady wins the race, right?

      And Wordprocessor: I’m partial to the peanut butter m & m s… they’re way better than reeces pieces. 🙂

      • Note taken. I will be sure to use peanut butter M & M s 🙂

        I always encourage myself witht the tortoise and the hare story. I continually feel God telling me to “just keep moving” with Him (in a sing-song way similar to the way Dorrie says “just keep swimming” in Finding Nemo…I know, way too many Disney movies!).

        Love you, sister! I am cheering you on in your race! I am thankful to get to be a witness. You are a wonderful woman of God, STILL GROWING in Christ day by day!

        • One last thought: Often times, “cave time” is growing time. God uses everything for His good purpose. Don’t let lies of the enemy discourage you. Satan is always looking for things to accuse us for and lies to beat us down with. The truth is you are hidden in Christ, growing in His love and moving forward on His path. I find that sitting with the Lord, being worked on and transformed, is where the biggest “movement” happens!

  3. Again, great points! This makes me think about what we just talked baout last night in our small groups…as far as the intentional/unintentional spiritual conversations that we have on a day to day basis. Someone was sharing how she met a woman in line at walmart and started up a conversation with her just about general things and then by the end of the conversation the woman divulged that she was looking for a new church and this small group member had the opportunity to invite her. Conversely, I was at the grocery store last week when an older man approached me in the parking lot and asked me where I went to church, when I told him, he simply said “oh, ok.”, walked to his truck and drove off. I was not offended b/c I knew he meant well, but it almost seemed he wanted to get his card punch for inviting someone to church w/o becoming vulnerable in any way. There was no openness in his manner nor was there any significant time invested. He lost nothing. I’m really not trying to give this man a bad wrap, b/c it makes me think about myself a lot of times. We are learning in a study on forgiveness that typically people put up walls like this b/c of unforgiveness. I know that initally that seems random and unrelated, but when you really think about it it’s true! The problem is that we have been hurt by someone/something in the past and do not forgive completely and we want to make doubly sure that it doesn’t happen again. We want to “stay ahead of the curve” so to speak. The only way that I can be completely open and risk things, is when I have really, truly, completely forgiven and released past offenses. It enables me to be vulnerable again, transparent again, to lead and take initiative again. This may be completely and utterly not where you were coming from at all, but I hope it at least makes sense. 🙂

    • Lawren: I’m totally working through unforgiveness and FEAR or being hurt.

      Part of what I’m thinking about in my cave is how excruciating vulnerability is, and how I go about forcing myself to be vulnerable again…

      It’s quite probable that I’m holding onto hurt and anger, but I’m also caught in that frustrating question of: Is it possible to completely forgive without letting the same person/people hurt me again? … That question is a killer, because I think it’s wise to learn from our mistakes and to move forward (not allowing the same people to screw us in the same ways repeatedly), but it also sets me up for any number of heart problems if I’m constantly expecting people to destroy and damage me.

      • I know, and you are exaclty right when you say that that it is important to learn from our mistakes. Someone used the example of a church treasurer who embezzled money. We have to forgive that person, but they will probably never be church treasurer again because their behavior has shown that they are not trust worthy. James McDonald says in this series we are doing that forgiveness is the decision/choice to release a person from the obligation that resulted when they injured you. Meaning, it’s not that you have to pretend nothing happened, but you choose to release it. He also says that forgiveness is the proof of salvation, not what saves you. Hence, forgiven people forgive. Not at all saying that I have this down. This is my least favorite study we have done b/c it is HARD!!! In this I have learned that forgiveness is for you, not for the offender. It prevents you from being bound up by someone else’s sin. It enables you to reach out and love others w/o restraint.

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