Not Talking To The Guy Next To Me In Church

Church, rather the worship at church, is about to start. The countdown on the large screen is ticking too slowly for me. Every ticking second is excruciating and can’t pass fast enough so I can get over the awkwardness with the guy sitting next to me. We’ve just mumbled something to each other.

Wait, did we just pretend to exchange greetings? Not really. I think we wanted to greet each other but weren’t sure what made an appropriate greeting. It’s the first time we’ve sat next to each other in church. I’m thinking, “should I take the conversation further? Is he thinking perhaps we should be saying something more to each other than just the grunts we just exchanged?”

We’re “in church” and frankly, I don’t feel like or want to talk to the guy next to me [Click to Tweet]

What should we talk about? He’s a little older… What do we have in common? Do I really want to start another conversation like the one I just had in the foyer with the woman at the door? Yet another brief chat about the seasons change? No!

May be the guy next to me would like to talk but the phone in my hand is doing its job in keeping him from saying anything. A nice wall. I’d rather chat to someone in another part of town or the world than this guy.

not talking to the guy next to me in church

sitting next to a guy in church but I’m not really there

 

Does he want to talk or is he glad I’ve taken away the pressure of the chat through the focus on my phone?

Should we talk? What should we talk about? The countdown has only gone down by thirty lazy seconds. Can’t the band stop being slaves to the countdown and start with the music? They are ready, aren’t they?

Do they really have to hold hands and mumble final prayers on the side of the stage just to make sure God’s Spirit is with them as they do what they’re going to do in the meeting. Weren’t the prayers they prayed at rehearsals enough? Perhaps they just want to be double sure.

There’s still five minutes on the countdown. What could talk to the guy next to me about?  Am I obligated to speak to him? I’m just here for church not for another meaningless conversation with another guy I might get to next to again in a year.

Wait, did I just say I came for church? Then am I missing the point?

What if I asked him how him and his family were doing? I mean not like how I asked the man in the car park, as a greeting, without even pausing for his response. But really asked how he was doing and I prayed with him of he needed prayer.

Maybe something great is happening in his life and he’s looking for someone to share how good God had been on his life and that could be one of the ways he glorifies God today?

Maybe if I talked to Him I might hear God answering some of the questions I asked him this week. Maybe?

Gee, I can’t believe I’m so impatient to have church instead of being the church with the guy next to me. How many opportunities have I missed to be the Church when I’ve come to church? How many people in this hall are having the same experience and thoughts I am right now?

Isn’t community about interacting with fellow followers of the Way and not just standing next to each other singing the words on the screen? I’m not saying we shouldn’t sing, I’m just wondering if I’ve made that the object and overlooked the other experiences God has for others and me.

What if God wanted me to sit next to this guy so that our interaction enriches both of us and He is glorified through that?

Is this dude next to me thinking what I’m thinking of just wondering why the countdown is being beat by snails? Maybe he’s thinking the stage guys have put too much smoke on stage today.

Uhm…

How can I claim to be a part of the community of believers when I’m not even making effort to be community? Everyone has a bad day; today is my turn to have one and not be bothered. Jesus, I’m sure you understand. Right?

Oh we’ll, I was about to start the conversation but the band just started the first song. It’s not like I can ask this gentleman to step into the foyer and tell him I’m sorry for shutting him out and I just didn’t feel like talking to anyone.

I’m so impatient to have church instead of being the church with the guy next to me [Click to Tweet]

I mean we’re here to worship God so why would I want to distract this guy? Will I regret not talking to this guy after the meeting? During the week? How long will the guilt last. Perhaps a week like when I didn’t talk to the woman in last week’s meeting. But with her I didn’t want to interrupt her checking her emails on her iPad before the meeting started.

Oops, I’ve been calling this a meeting; it should be “worship experience”. I should go back and edit this. Wait, what have I done by not talking to this man? Should I feel guilty? Have I failed God? Or failed this man?

Should I talk to the guy sitting next to me in Church? [Click to Tweet]

Ah… I wish I were sitting next to my friend on the other side. Gee, this third song needs to come down a couple of keys for the entire congregation to be able to sing. Is that a typo on the screen?

I’m still feeling bad for not talking to this guy but hopefully he’ll get over it…

What if my internal conflict and the question of speaking to this guy is God sending me? Am I running?

[Photo Credit: amslerPIX]

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