Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A RANT AND RAVE (feel free to avoid, its kind of emotional and long)

People astound me. Who do people think they are? Treating other people around them with rudeness and smugness. These questions were triggered due to a recent occurrence with some pseudo-friends of mine. A life-group (church group) retreat planned for last weekend ended in disaster when people treated others badly and someone finally had the guts to say something. Sadly, this person wasn't innocent so the explosion exploded further when they spoke up. Let me just explain:
We go to a large church that solves the large aspect of not really getting to know people by forming "life-groups" which is a group of people who meet once a week outside of church (normally for an evening) and have a prayer meeting of sorts or a bible study. This is supposed to provide that close knit group that is your little community at church. Ours has ranged from 6-7 married couple plus us - all between the ages of 21-28. Well, I have written about the group before, using words like, "heaven sent" and such things. At the time they were that but, the problem with the group is quite frankly the members of it. We get together and spend 2 hours going through a bible study that should take about 45 minutes b/c everyone is rude and loud and interrupts basically just to hear themselves talk. The subject no matter what it is always gets turned to sex (which this group feels is open for discussion no holds barred- and i mean nothing isn't okay to talk about, i have learned words and names of things I never knew existed) It used to be funny, but now it seems that this is all anyone is capable of talking about. There are those of us there that are so craving to read God's word and talk about our spiritual lives together and grow but the majority come to gossip and chat and be rude. Now, about 4 months ago - the leader of the group made a rule that no longer would alcohol be allowed at life group functions. I know what you are thinking..why would it ever have been? That's what we wondered when we joined. But, it was presented to us that if the group say, went out to dinner-everyone was okay with drinking so it would not be frowned on for someone to order a beer or a fruity girly drink with their meal. I was kind of bothered by but i had no reason to think it was abused. Well, in some scenario that only a few were present at ( we weren't) something got out of control and some people felt uncomfortable and thus the suggestion from the leader that we no longer drink when representing our lifegroup together. Wise I thought. Well, this stirred up all kinds of egotistical exclamations of not being told what to do and no one was gonna make rules..blah blah blah. I stood directly behind the leader on this b/c i think it is all her and her husbands decision and if people don't like it they should find a new group (good luck finding one that drinks). But, amazingly only one couple left and they only left because other people that they didn't like decided to stay. Well, none of these people read my blog but I will leave out names to be fair. So we go on this weekend that is a "lifegroup function" thus will have no alcohol as a rule (now one that doesn't even need said). The first night is awful b/c the boys are running around like some freshman fraternity guys on crack. The girls decide to play some games over the insanity of the guys..this is super dull and forced for me because it just frankly was not what I call fun. So, the night only gets worse b/c people are rude and make comments about others b/c there are a few non-friends (non stated) in the group. The plan for the following day is for the guys to get up at dawn and go fishing. They try to be quiet and manage not to wake us girls up. A few hours later they come back and most of us are still asleep (some on air mattresses in the living room), so then people are being rude and loud and Kyle is trying to get them to be quiet and be respectful. One girl actually walked through the room we are sleeping in and yelled at her dog. Kyle was gritting his teeth on that one. She did not care. This is one small example of 2 of the couples total and utter disregard for other people. They act and say whatever they want and honestly, I don't know why we have put up with it for this long. So the rudeness increased throughout the day- I was told that the girls were going to the mall. So we got ready and then everyone was sitting around and waiting and one of the guys asked who was driving and no one had a car except me (all the girls knew this but never asked me if I minded driving everyone around). Then one of THEM said that they have to sit in the front because they are claustrophobic (yeah..okay) then she got in my car and told me it needed cleaned. Then in the mall they left the store without telling me and the one that I really get along with. They called and asked where we were (we had never left), so we thought they had just walked to the next store. No! They were at the other end of the mall. So then after griping the whole way back we thankfully arrive back to our cabin. So...I forgot to mention that the leader of the group and her husband had to leave before we went shopping b/c they could only spend the first night. So.....out comes the beer. And then they are going on a beer run and taking orders. Kyle and I are staring at each other in disbelief, and then even the good members of the group are agreeing ( for fear of being ridiculed by the beer getter's -this is the guy thing in this group- fear of ridicule from the others, maybe its a general guy thing). So , then everyone is drinking as we are cooking dinner (let it be known that the before mentioned THEM did not lift a hand the entire weekend as far as cooking or cleaning goes at any meal for any period of time, nor did they thank anyone who did or even do so much as clean their plate off the table). SORRY THIS IS JUST ONE BIG RANT GUYS... So, then they actually started playing drinking games. It was like being in a freshman dorm in college (i'm not saying that that is unacceptable) I just don't think that we were all in the same place in our lives despite age or circumstance. It was just plain ridiculous. Here is this lifegroup from our church playing drinking games, not a bible or prayer in sight the whole weekend. I was stunned at the behavior of these people before the alcohol came out..but soon after the cussing happened and the F word found its way around the room. THEM were yelling (husbands and wives) at each other saying F you etc..... It was unbelievable. We were planning on leaving but we didn't want to make this big scene so we (there were 3 of us who weren't participating in any way) were watching a movie and just trying to get the night over with so we could leave and never ever see any of them again. I mean this thing RUINED relationships and destroyed our group. Total disregard for other people and for the church and our group and for everything. It was so terrible. Looking back I wish I would have sat them all down on the couch and told them exactly what was on my mind. I really should have, but I knew that they had an F you with my name on it. That's what happens when rude people get combined with beer. Awful. So the climax of the event is that one guy who always speaks his mind (who had had a few beers earlier before it turned into a party) yelled at them all to please stop and think about what they were doing and how this looked. Then some girl is all yelling about how this wasn't a lifegroup function. Yours truly looked her right in the eye and said, "Are you kidding me? Actually this was a life group function, it was planned at lifegroup, for lifegroup, and we are here together as a lifegroup. You guys have got to be kidding me..

I'll stop there. So everyone stopped, the groups divided. The guy who spoke up went to try to calm the waters and of course was called a hypocrite (which he was) but I was glad he spoke up.

We left early the next morning. On the way home the leader of the group called me to get the TRUTH, b/c one of THEM (who is her brother and sister in law - yeah, lets talk about conflict!) called her and told her that they had brought alcohol but that everything was fine until the guy yelled at everyone. I straightened her out on what REALLY happened. It is really devastating, you know to see people in this kind of environment ( church group) behaving and acting this way. So, as of now tomorrow the lifegroup leaders are going to tell those who come to the meeting tomorrow that they are taking a break from hosting the group and in a few months they might consider it again but, they will only be inviting people who are serious about being a part of it. I hope and pray that that actually does happen, and maybe it will convict some peoples hearts to look at their actions a little closer.

Thanks for listening. You know me...I can't hold it in if it really gets to me and this did. I honestly never thought I would be around people who behaved like this. I definitely cant call them friends. Is it just how we were raised? Having respect for others? Is it this part of the country? What in the world is the deal?