Ijust turned 30. Hooray for me! I feel like people have to take me seriously now. Of course I know they won’t, but it helps my flagging confidence to day dream that it may just be true. I’m no longer a 20-something. Apparently, it often happens at these “milestone birthdays” that you do a stock-take of your life to this point. My mind has clicked into this mode and its been a bit unnerving. As I look back now I get a flood of mixed emotions. I’m an adult, and I suppose I should be gaining some momentum on my life-path. There is some sense of that, but there is definitely a bitter taste to it all.
I feel positive about the fact that I seem to have done everything I wanted to. What I mean by that is that if my ‘17 years old self’ could see me sitting here in this coffee shop, and know where I have been and what I have done, I think he would be really impressed, his expectations exceeded, his dreams realised in flesh. I always wanted to be a Pastor, Priest, Minister, or whatever you happen to call it. I have worked in 7 churches up until now and a number of other ministries. I’ve become quite a professional. I can preach, lead worship and do all that other churchy stuff well. People are always “very impressed”. Up until now I have studied and got two undergraduate degrees, which I think makes my mom more proud than it does me. I have run events for teens here in South Africa that have been packed with over 1000 young people. I have had two Christian bands which have been able to play for hundreds of people and I’ve recorded a demo CD with my own songs which I still have to do something with. On top of it all I have been ordained and been accepted as a Pastor in the Baptist Church. So surely I have made it. Done. Check. Now I just have to sit back and enjoy it. I should feel happy, even excited.
But I can’t.
If I’m honest I feel sad. I feel really lonely and misunderstood. I feel disappointed, disillusioned, and I just want to run away. I’m confused. This is not what I thought it would be. Its like I have given everything up to get into a room full of promise only to eventually be allowed to walk through a door that leads to a dry, dusty ‘no where’. I definitely made my share of mistakes, but I don’t think the rose-colored glasses fell off because of anything I did. In short, I feel like I have had my eyes opened to what God really thinks is important and what the Institutional Church thinks is important, and they just don’t line up. I need some time and space to lick my wounds and sort the wood for the trees.