So why do I believe that all of these people think that I am a jerk? The reason is that all of their cloying attention makes me so uncomfortable that I have taken to just putting my head down and sprinting through and around them just to get to my seat. In short, I tune them out and do my best to ignore them. Sometimes they make me feel like Barry Sanders running through an aggressive defensive line. If I don't shake them off with a head fake or the old jelly-leg hip buckle, they will try to take me down. In truth I can understand that I am coming across as rude, as cold, as ... a jerk.
Over the past few months my antisocial, avoidance approach has become less subtle. My thinking was that if I did my best to broadcast a clear message of "STAY BACK" with my attitude and body language, it would make it easier for me. Actually I think it has. I think people are starting to ignore me. But is that really what I want to get out of going to church? Is that what I really need? Didn't Jesus have a thing or two to say about the importance of Christian relationships and fellowship?
A few weeks ago after I came home from Sunday service, I sensed a clear and unexpected voice within me telling me that I am equipped to do better. It wasn't of my own mind or spirit. That was obvious. I believe it was one of those moments when the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me that I could make a better effort than I had been. It wasn't a scolding or a derogatory voice. It was gentle and patient. So, for the past few weeks I have been trying harder to look folks in the eye and to engage just a bit more.