Sunday, January 26, 2014

Just Wondering WWJD?

We are, here in America, in a stretch of time, where we label and drug our kids and ourselves with increasing frequency.

Now, let's start out with my saying, don't read the above statement as one of, all medications are bad and should never be used or any such thing. Finding the right diagnosis or label and in turn the right medication can sometimes be the thing that makes all the difference in the world for a child or an adult.

What I was getting at in the last blog post has become more clear to me over the last day or two.  Probably not in a logical way, but in the round and wandering way that is my way of thinking about things.

I don't think I was clear really, in the last pos,t about what I was getting at. There were two things, one really building out of the other. First was just my plain frustration at the level of computer time requested by my kids teachers. The second part was this though, what about all these labels on kids, ADHD specifically.

I won't lie. It's a topic near the front of my mind these days, simply because I have a child that is close to getting that label and we are thinking about trying medications. I'm not a big medicator, but I am big on giving a child a chance at having a break from the chaos that is their every waking moment and having some successes.

That's the side note to the thought. Or maybe the question. 

Why do we have so much ADD, ADHD, sensory processing disorder and so on? 

That rattled around in my head for a while along with the thought that maybe we have so many distracted and overstimulated kids simply because our world right now is over full with distractions and stimulation. We are over the top in every area of our lives. 

Then I went to church. 

Yup, on a Saturday night. 

We go then for a number of reasons. One is completely selfish, I like to stay up late and sleep in. Sunday is literally our only day to even have a chance at sleeping in and frankly friends, I'm tired. I like sleep. It's the thing I miss most from my life before kids. We also go on Saturday nights because there are a lot less people. Less people means less chaos. That's good for our kids.

We sit in the balcony. This particular Saturday, we sat in the very last row of the balcony seating. Again, we make this choice for a number of reasons. It's convenient to where the little kids classrooms are and we have those kids. It's warm up there and I shiver when I sit in the main sanctuary. The main reason though, is one of my kids. 

We sit as far away from the stage of our church as possible for the sake of one of my kids. The volume and the light show that goes along with the worship part of service is literally overwhelming to him. My child asks to use the restroom weekly during worship and I know it's to take a break from the experience. The lights and sound trigger headaches, sometimes migraines. At a holiday service we had a near seizure experience from the production that is worship.

It was suggested to me that maybe we should just spend that part of service in the entryway. Watch it on the in house TV. 

We could. That would be a solution. But it's a profoundly sad solution. 

This is a body of Christ, a body of believers and instead of being pulled in and embraced, our option is to isolate, stand around alone, out in the cold lobby and wait it out. Cold in temperature and ambiance. Not to mention the way it feels to realize that this is your place, on the outside.

My friend continued, this is sad, worship can be such a beautiful and meaningful part of service...

It's true. It can be beautiful and meaningful. It can still and ready the heart and mind for the message. It can quiet all the chaos of the world. 

It's true that it's sad too. To think our answer is to stand it out in the lobby is sad. To spend the entire worship time hovering over my child and watching for the signs that the whole thing is going south. It's sad. As a family our focus isn't worship, it's whether or not our kid will be OK until we get to the sermon.

It leaves me with a lot of thoughts. 

Are we the only family in this big church that goes through this? Is this just because it is a big church? 

Is this just like my ADHD question? 

I don't know if my church set out to be a big church or if it just happened. I don't really care one way or the other, but I do wonder if maybe we missed a beat, again, like we maybe have with education.

I started wondering about a quiet service. I wondered about the Amish. Do the Amish have an epidemic of boys with ADHD?

Would it be possible to still reach our congregation with the message of God without drama and lights and flash and glitter? 

Is it possible that there is beauty in simplicity? 

Was God onto something when He talked to us about listening for the still, small voice? I'm just going to assume that's a quiet voice whispering to us.

Maybe the sermon bringing us the Word of God could come in a quiet way, without a flash and bang. Maybe our God is so awe inspiring and big beyond our imaginations and comprehensions that we don't need to bring in our own loud light show. Maybe making a joyous noise unto the Lord, isn't about strobe lights, disco balls and music that vibrates through your body. 

Maybe a joyous noise unto the Lord, comes from a body untied, singing worship and praise, letting the space of the room fill simply with the awe and wonder in the hearts of the body instead of the smoke and light show. Maybe the word of God comes in a quiet voice spoken in authority instead of jokes and gimmicks. 

What if a joyous noise to the Lord our God is really the sound of a body united in silent prayer?

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