I love funk music. Most drummers do. Playing in the pocket is like flying, I think. The groove steps up and grabs onto your soul while your body just has to keep in sync with the rhythm.
You see, it's all about the feel.
But there is another kind of funk, an insidious kind which sneaks up on you and starts whispering deadening, dark stuff. Stuff that tries to cripple hope and snuff out faith. This funk has in its rotten roots a cancer-like fear and stifling thrall of dejection. It spreads through lies whispered into the mind over days until they seize the attention of the heart. When that happens, funk takes over. Spiritual malaise digs in.
This funk feels really bad.And he funk I'm in is definitely not the groove I'm looking for.
Launching imagine/Northampton these days just has little savor, I'm afraid. It feels often ho-hum and "whatever". Sometimes it makes me angry. I also can't seem to hold the vision in view; it dissipates like a mist when I stare at it: the idea of imagine seems more real than the experience. On the surface it feels like I don't care much anymore when the truth is I still very much do. But I feel mostly in two minds and they walk parallel these days. I am in a funk and care about the mission when I allow it.
I have read enough about church planting and church planters to know that what I'm experiencing is not unique, and most likely to be expected in a place like Northampton. I also know my experience pales compared to the harsh reality of men and women over the centuries who bravely gave everything to bring life and liberty to people unaware of Jesus all over the world - places more spiritually fierce than Northampton
Still, I'm looking for a different groove! One where:
1. It's not 2 steps forward and 11 steps back.
2. The vision is actually coming into view, even if slowly.
3. There is occasional breathing space in the midst of the struggle.
4. Chaos does not take down order with increasing arrogance.
5. The heavens don't seem like brass when I pray.
6. At the end of the day, the ways of God hold sway a little more than the day before.
Sometimes in the funk, I remember my reaction when we first arrived and met a few believers living in the Pioneer Valley. They talked of deep spiritual weariness after having prayed and worked for decades that the Kingdom would break through the smothering darkness here. They seemed discouraged and resigned to little hope of seeing that happen. I taste the same funk they seemed sunk in.
I imagine what I am writing sounds like whining. I don't mean it to because I'm not. I am fiercely frustrated, more than a little confused, and in a nasty mood. But I'll tell ya: if the groove showed up an hour from now I'd be back "in the pocket" and playin' the snot out of it. (Sorry.)
I just need to be honest about what this is like.
I know the groove I'm looking for. It has a distinct shape and feel and sound. God sent it back while we were living in Simsbury. I still want to play it for all I'm worth so he is recognized and Kingdom seizes the day. In the meantime, I have to fight the funk. Some days I am better at it than others. A few days it overwhelms me. When they string together, I write stuff like this.
So forgive me. Better yet, ask God to get me to the groove he made me for. I've had enough of this other funk, I assure you.