November 22, 2018

I Was The Obstacle In the Way - Alan Anderson

Psalm 71:12 “Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me.”

In similar fashion to my personal blog Scarred Joy located on WordPress, I make every effort to be genuine, authentic and transparent etc. in our InScribe blog. I have no reason to stray from this direction of my writing.

In using this month’s prompt as direction I am going to write about a time when I experienced a great obstacle and God opened a new opportunity for me through it. In this post I am giving readers a glimpse into my spiritual life as a Christian including a recent obstacle preventing me from moving forward.

At times I have experienced wandering through a dry and weary land, so to speak, in reference to life. There have been times where God seemed distant. A typical response from my Christian circle of believers is, “Well, God hasn’t moved, so you must have.” Regardless of who moved if anyone, I am being real about such a time in my life. I am not a new kid on the block when it comes to church life. I know being part of a church is an amazing part of life. As I once heard a speaker say, church can also be hazardous to one’s health.

Before I go any further I am being up front with you by saying I am the obstacle in the context of this blog post. As an obstacle I also infringed on my own spiritual growth. I became frustrated as a leader by having to review our church vision, or mission, or reason for being. I expressed this to my church elder partners. I’m not sure they heard me. Perhaps they didn’t care. More than likely they had a different perspective than me. I have no problem with difference of opinion.

I came to a point in life where I sensed something was missing in my life as a Christian. Things in church, of course, were busy; there was always ministry to do. To me, there still remained a missing piece. Being busy wasn’t and isn’t enough. Busy does not always mean fruitful ministry. At least that is how I see it.

After my third term on the church board I took a sabbatical. I needed a break, a rest from involvement that had become drudgery. A thought in my mind at the time, my obstacle, was “I don’t need this constant hamster wheel experience” of church life. It was a challenging time. It was a grueling period in my life. Like the psalmist my cry was, “Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me.” It is what loneliness feels like.

God was still there. He was present. He stood and walked beside my wife and I even when I thought He had left. The best way I know to describe it is, God gave us a spiritual makeover.

I don’t know how to explain it in the confines of this post. I can say we are now with a body of believers who are a well-defined community of Christians. We are learning an ancient contemplative liturgical way of worship so meaningful and beneficial to our souls.

I am no longer an obstacle to anyone, or myself as far as I know. Church is no longer drudgery and stressful. I now look forward to being with my church family. I can see light ahead with a church still on track with its original vision of family, community, worship and care for each other.



  1. I do so enjoy your honesty and transparency in your posts. I am also happy that you found the church home where you fit. Blessings.

  2. Thank you Tracy! Yes, I'm happy my unsettled manner is over.

  3. Wow, Alan! I see significant parallel's in my own faith journey. I grew up in an evangelical church that I loved dearly and had no intention of leaving. As a young person, I was totally involved in the church. In fact, I am sure I overdid it completely to the detriment of my own personal and spiritual growth. I was BUSY. I had no time for social life and yet I hoped to be married one day.

    One evening, my phone rang non-stop and each of the calls was about one of my duties, yes, duties, at church. Looking back, I am amazed how God led me to mature in my faith and as a person. God used these phone calls as a wake-up call. I applied for a teaching position in Fort McMurray. I moved to Fort McMurray, made new friend including a group of Catholic girlfriends, and expanded my horizons. I also gained a new perspective on what God requires of me.

    Four years later, I moved back to Edmonton and that is where and when I met my husband, Hank, who happened to be a devout Catholic. I became Catholic so we could attend church together and raise our children in the faith. Little did I realize then, that through the Roman Catholic Church, I would, during my lifetime, grow much deeper in my relationship with God. Although this may have happened had I remained in the church where I was raised, I believe God has led me in ways I can't even imagine. I married the man I was to marry and our marriage and our lives have been blessed accordingly. Thanks be to God.

    I didn't mean to write a book, Alan, but I am happy that you and Terry have found the place to worship that is right for you. Blessings.

  4. Thank you for your heartfelt comments. I appreciate your words. Yes, I see parallels in our stories. The faith is sweet and even more so when you know you belong and are welcomed.


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