I decided not to take the apartment, after all that. I think what was driving me in that direction was mostly the feeling that I needed to change something in my life. But I don’t think that’s it.
I know I haven’t been saying much about the prospective baptism or any other aspects of my spiritual life lately, and I think that’s largely because I’ve gotten tired of it. The discussion here, despite all the good intentions, seemed to be taking me back to the familiar “they almost get it, but not quite” territory, and things were falling into familiar ruts. Conversations in 3-D life weren’t doing much better. And I’m getting sick of hearing my own thoughts, which is pretty deadly to blogging.
I have made a few moves to try getting into a small group. Small groups are one of those things that could almost belong to the meme: I’ve been a tad suspicious of them partly because everybody else seems so damned enthusiastic about them. I’m not sure I like how much authority seems to have devolved to them, especially given how PMC is already somewhat fragmented by the large transient student population and the number of people from different religious backgrounds. And people seemed to try to get me in one right off the bat. When I first showed up at PMC and started talking to people, I had about half a dozen conversations that went exactly like this:
PMCer: So where are you from?
Camassia: Mar Vista. It’s out near Venice Beach.
PMCer:Â On the westside?Â Do you know that we have a small group for westsiders?
Camassia: I’ve been told…
However, bloody-mindedness is not the only reason I haven’t joined a small group. I was actually pretty gung-ho about the idea after I took the Alpha course at Christian Assembly, because I liked the “table talk” environment. However, I never did connect with one there, partly because even though that church had a couple thousand people it still hadn’t quite figured out how to put the “organized” in organized religion. At the Lutheran church I did a weekly Bible study for a while, but eventually I had the same frustrations with that group that I had with the church in general.
Another problem I’ve been having at PMC, though, is that I’m not sure what I want, or should even really expect to get out of a small group. Task-oriented groups like Bible or book discussions don’t seem to be where I’m at right now. I feel like I’ve discussed, analyzed and intellectualized everything to death, both on the blog and in life, and I don’t think it’s getting me anywhere any more. On the other hand, some groups seem to be mainly light social get-togethers, especially ones that include kids. I don’t think those would help me move forward either.
The fact that’s driving everyone crazy, including me, is that I don’t know what would help me move forward at this point. Some old Zen monk in me is revolting against all this intention and planning and will, all this talking and trying to figure things out. These years of doing that have not much moved anything under the ocean, things down in my soul that even I don’t really know.
I guess if a small group takes me in, they’ll have to live with not knowing what’s going to happen next.