Inexplicable courses of action

HastingsLogo.PNGIn a good-sized city, a Hastings store went out of business last year.  Inexplicably, a new store with essentially the same slate of business lines just installed a store at the same location.

Also last year, in a small town with a fairly prominent Taco John’s and two fine mid-range Mexican restaurants, a Taco Bell/KFC went out of business.  Subsequently, an entrepreneur decided to add to the somewhat lacking mix of fast-food options Taco Bell 2016.svgwith a startup burrito joint that offers mostly Mexican fare.  Later, a restaurant group inexplicably tore down a ramshackle building and broke ground to install a new Taco Bell . . . a block away from the Taco John’s and five blocks from where the last Taco Bell failed.

Both of these examples call to mind the proverbial definition of insanity—doing the same things and expecting different results.

In a new locale, tired Christians try to maintain a trusting outlook.  Almost inexplicably, they visit church after church, hoping to find a small, biblically attentive, mutuality-emphasizing, non-franchise group to work with.  Nearly every visit to an established congregation results in listlessness, discouragement, waning hope, and windless sails.  (Churchiness has a way of doing that.)  I think these folks are more idealistic and fatigued than insane, but the matter might be argued otherwise.

– B. Casey, 7/29/17

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10 thoughts on “Inexplicable courses of action

  1. godschildrenorg 08/10/2017 / 12:59 pm

    Well spoken! An acquaintance has left his long time “church home,” has moved through 4 congregations of Church of Christ…and is thinking of trying yet another one. When I learned that, I knew that he needs prayers. Dan’s and my philosophy about discontent with a congregation is, first…through prayers, let the Lord lead you in helping things be more according to the Lord’s will.

    And, maybe…check your own eyes to see if there is a beam, or maybe some dust that needs to be cleaned out. There are times when moving on becomes the only option…but wherever we are, make it a better, more Christ like place accepting that we and all members are still just humans…sinners saved by the grace of God. But what if we had been stuck in Corinth, or Laodicia??? ~~ Anne in Transylvania

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    • Brian Casey 08/11/2017 / 8:19 am

      Your acquaintance’s experience is a little different from what I had in mind, although maybe it’s the same basic thing in different shades. Severing a longstanding tie over more or less important matters is not the issue here. There seems to be no reasonable, viable option with a recognized congregation to become tied to. It’s not that there aren’t beams and dust — there certainly are. Still, every honest attempt (and there have been many, with quite a few repeats) ends up with a negative effect. Accepting that we are all sinners and that there is no perfect congregation — yes. But when no established church is even close, and the home study group is made of people very committed to three other churches, it’s disorienting.

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  2. Michael Asbell 08/11/2017 / 7:48 am

    I understand. I’m feeling a little more fatigued and discouraged just reading this. Or maybe it’s just me this morning.

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    • Brian Casey 08/11/2017 / 8:21 am

      Well, it’s not a goal to discourage people, but I’m still grateful to be empathized with. 🙂 And it’s also strangely/ironically comforting that you in particular have a morning that doesn’t feel so great, since I so frequently feel better after reading what you write.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Michael Asbell 08/11/2017 / 8:30 am

      Obviously you’re not trying to discourage anyone. We’re just feeling the feelings together. 5 minutes after posting this I realized I had a song going in my head, and I was hearing Mick Jagger belting out “I can’t get no satisfaction…”

      Liked by 2 people

    • Brian Casey 08/11/2017 / 6:57 pm

      If you were down on Mick Jagger’s level, maybe my thoughts and your resonance weren’t the things that got you to your lowest point, if you know what I mean. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  3. daviddorrell 09/16/2017 / 7:45 pm

    Oh, boy! That’s a lot of food for thought. Pardon the pun, Brian, but it must be noted that Taco Bell has tried to enter the Austin Texas market and failed miserably. It seems that what passes for autentico everywhere else, does not cut the salsa in a town with such a large Hispanic population as this one. There are the most scrumptious handmade auténtico tacos in every convenience store and they are as inexpensive as they are nutritious. You just can’t compete with the real deal. It’s as true as the fact that once you’ve experienced a church that fills your soul like three of these tacos fill your stomach, you’ll just never be satisfied with the make-believe stuff again. I’m still searching, too, dear friend.

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    • Brian Casey 09/17/2017 / 7:41 am

      I’m not surprised that Austin has rejected Taco Bell. Kingsville had at least one, and it was frequented by Hispanics, but I figure that was because of the price, not preference. I’ve only been in Austin for a few hours total, so I know it mostly by reputation, and that reputation includes “new, sort-of fringe Nashville” and “new hippie.” I do maintain that it doesn’t have to be “authentic” to be good — Cal and Tex and anything other variations can also be tasty. Since there is good, cheap authentic Mexican food with real ingredients, why would anyone go to a Taco Bell?

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  4. daviddorrell 09/16/2017 / 7:54 pm

    Man, there’s a lot of noise on Word Press! Call me naive, I expected to have the ability to jump on this site and see the pure Speaking Earnestly goods, just like you Facebook page when I hit the button to read however many “more words”. I saw your name but after I set someone straight about his “Righteous Indignation” and got him told, good and proper, I looked up and I was on some stupid blog called hodgepodge for the soul. WEIRD!
    Oh, well. We all have to blow off a little puff of steam now and again.
    Shalom, dear friends

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    • Brian Casey 09/17/2017 / 7:42 am

      I’m not sure how you got to that other site, but this sounds entertaining. Are you saying you didn’t realize you weren’t on my site while setting someone straight?

      Like

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