be real

The past few years I have had the need to test God by pushing all of his buttons just to see how far my rebellion can go. Does God really care?... Does he?....Really?.... Does he really care?....Does he care even when I don't care?..... Does he really?....really? Isn't that how we are sometimes? Well, that's how I am. I'm kind of surprised (and very much relieved) that God doesn't just take his big huge right hand of justice and squash me. If I was God...I'd be so irritated I'd be asking the other gods for some help. Like, "Seriously guys...April just doesn't get it!!!"

None-the-less, lately I feel like I just don't know if I really get it. When I step outside of the church, and when I step outside of my comfortable group of friends, and when I step outside of the norms that have created my little womb of a worldview....well frankly I don't feel like I really want to be a Christian. I feel like my Christian worldview is quite flimsy and I feel like I'm constantly facing issues that are so vague and complicated that I'd be an ass to just stuff them in my Christian womb worldview like they actually fit!

And then I laugh at myself because even when I'm angry and bitter and I feel like I have nothing steadfast to believe in...I lay in bed and I say, "God....I just don't know if you exist!". How silly right? I'm questioning the existence of the same person I'm talking with.

I was thinking the other day...what would it be like if I didn't talk to God anymore? What would it be like if I just started living as if he wasn't there? What would my life be like if I gave it all up? completely! How terrifying! If I exclude the God part of my life, then there's just nothing left that really matters.

I've been talking with people lately about emotional balance and achieving emotional health and personal growth in life. There are so many practical theories that have been constructed to help a person stay level. Some of them are quite helpful. Like, the importance of being honest with yourself and other people. It is amazing what happens when you stop trying to dance around things and when you bring the issue to the table right away. Honesty. Honesty definitely aids in keeping things balanced.
A personal favorite of mine is the advice of allowing other people to own their own reactions. I can't allow myself to get caught up on the emotions and reactions of other people. I cannot allow myself to be offended. Instead I need to pay attention to my own reactions and my own emotions. This is good advice!
There are many books written, numerous lectures given, and too many resources to count on the topic of emotional balance/healing/growth.

Lately as I've been listening and observing all of these thoughts and suggestions I can't help but just turn back to God about all of it. The truth is, we all have emotions. Emotions can sometimes make us feel overjoyed, and sometimes our emotions make us feel darn-tootin' rotten. And that's okay! Both of those are okay! And I certainly know that I am not powerful enough to keep myself in balance just by some practical guidelines. And I'm not sure that this is even the point of life! People dis religion all the time and say that it's just a crutch to make you feel better. People say that Jesus Christ, God Eternal, Jehovah Jireh is just a creation of the human mind, passed down through the generations to give us all something to believe in and to take comfort in. But do you know what? It's not that easy! God doesn't necessarily fix every thing about my emotions. The goal of my relationship with God is not to make me feel balanced all the time. People work so hard and search so earnestly for something that will fix them, but that just doesn't seem right to me! God accepts me for who I am as a human being. God created me with emotions...the emotions to be excited, and the emotions to be offended. God gives me the courage to keep working through nerve-wrenching circumstances, he doesn't just fix everything so I don't have to be nervous at all. That would be pretty lame right?

So here I am at a weird place in my life. After pressing all of God's buttons on purpose, testing him, avoiding him, screaming at him, I've come to this place where life just makes sense with him. Well, I don't really know what that means, but I don't feel like I can keep avoiding God. I don't think that God always makes sense, but I also don't want to conclude that God = bad logic. I don't know that God will ever give me all the answers to all the complicated questions that I face, but I don't think that means that God doesn't have those answers. And for the people who feel like they are powerful human beings capable of such greatness within themselves, I guess I challenge you to find a purpose in that. I certainly don't think that emotional balance in my life will ever make me feel accomplished. And I'm not sure that personal success, or a flawless lifestyle will ever make me feel like I've achieved the greatest possible life. Seriously...people say that Christians are so wrapped up in their own bubble wrap that they can't relate to the real world. But true Christians...Christians who understand their humanity are probably the most relative people that are walking around.

What is the point of all that I've just written. Hmm, I'm not really sure. But I'm not sure that walking away from God, from the church, or from religion, or from the Bible is what my heart really wants to do. I think I just want to be human, to be fully fully human, and to find joy in that. Maybe I'll stop pressing God's buttons, and maybe I'll start feeling okay about what my heart really wants in life. And maybe I can give Christianity more credit than I have been lately.

It's something to think about.

Merry Christmas guys, Merry Christmas!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you April. Thank you very much. I know that I'm leaving this well after the clouds of dust have settled. I don't check here often, it's not in my normal web-loop...I don't really have one, but that's off subject.

The point is, Thank you for wrestling with your own personal experience and the God that you've seen revealed through the world and the people around you. Thank you for not backing down, for not giving up, for not taking carte blanche that any one system of thought or belief is correct.

People insulate themselves.(period) It's easier, it's more comfortable, but it isn't as real.

I think that being human, being fully human, is living life on the ragged edge, dealing with pain and joy, problems and successes--and that is how God imagined it for us, how it was hoped by Divine hope to be. That's why true Christians really are the most relavent (sp?) people walking around.