“I have climbed highest mountains I have run through the sea, only to be with you... but I still haven’t found what I am looking for.” U2.
These lyrics ring true for me and could easily be related to me experience church. Church has become in many ways the great provider of climatic experiences. A bit like running into a cold sea and the feelings of cold, shock, exhilaration and fun , sort of like reaching a mountaintop and looking down the feeling of awe and wonder as we survey the land below. This can happen in church, I climb highest mountains and run through the sea to experience great climatic moments.
I looked up climax the other day. A climax is an event resulting in an incredible feeling of elation and fulfilment normally accompanied with a heightened degree of intensity and excitement.
In the Woody Allen film “The sleeper” set in the future; instead of having sex people go into a box called the Orgasmatron. People go there for an orgasmic experience instead of real sex. In many ways church meetings, youth events and conferences can be a little like this. We attend have a spiritual orgasm, spiritually we have an intense moment of feeling elated, excited, fulfilled and then we go home. It has little impact on my every day life except make me look forward to our next spiritual orgasm.
I am from Northern Ireland and am also a great lover of soccer unfortunately the two do not go hand in hand and Northern Irelands achievements on the world soccer stage do not rate very highly. As a boy I remember clearly, N. Ireland qualifying for the 1982 world cup finals in Spain. We didn’t do very well, but I do remember we played Spain the host nation and won 1 nil. I remember vividly the goal that was scored the elation I felt the tenseness I felt as they held on against the odds and the complete sense of joy that came when the final whistle blew. I must admit it was the first time a football match moved me to tears, it was the climax of N. Irelands world cup aspirations and I was proud to watch and say I came from that little nation.
I have witnessed an emerging tendency to look for the great climatic meeting, conference and event. We go and have exhilarating worship, an excellent experience, lots of goose bumps, and a great rush, which has become rather like my own experience of watching N.Ireland play football; it gives us moments were we feel elated and fulfilled but it doesn’t last long.
What do you think? I wrote this a while ago but thought I would post it. I have been impacted and changed by larger meetings but wonder whether there can be an over emphasis on the meeting?