It was a simple mistake, really.
Having surrounded themselves
Thoroughly with church,
They had assumed themselves
Surrounded with God.
So when the emptiness and dysfunction
Eventually became apparent in their lives,
They did not think to fix their God problem,
For they did not think they had one.
Instead, they would look to activities,
Both sacred and secular, to make them whole,
And would frequently think that perhaps
“Being more committed” (to church)
Was likely to help satisfy what was lacking.
And now and then, they’d turn even
To counseling, when things got bad enough.
But it never occurred to them
To look in the scriptures for more
Wisdom from God.
Though they often looked there
For encouraging one-liners by which
To make themselves feel encouraged.
That, they did quite religiously.
What they didn’t want to do, though,
Was to use all of their minds to wrestle
With what the scriptures mean to God.
The very thought of doing that was
Foreign to them, for their church had long
Existed as a comfort, and not as a goad.
It was palliative care, and not particularly edifying―
Though they were constantly assured there
That they were in fact being edified.
Now and then, one would be dissatisfied,
And would leave in search of something better.
Most, however, found a way to be satisfied there,
For surely God surrounded them, and would
Let them know if they ought to be
Doing something different.
It was the moral mistake
Of not wanting better.