Monday, August 10, 2009

Sometimes I talk to Myself ... a lot

Do you feel like your Christian life goes in cycles? Loved by God, used by God, useless, lost, apathetic, loved by God, used by God, useless, lost, apathetic... Maybe I'm the only one, but I doubt it. I have a thousand conversations in my head about God and Jesus and Christianity and the meaning of it all. I'll never have it figured out 100%, but it doesn't stop me from having mental dialogue on a daily basis.

My present condition in my Christian cycle is lost. I know the love of God is real, I know Jesus is my Savior, and I know my purpose here is for His glory. But how does that all play out? Yesterday my pastor mentioned the scripture that speaks of life being a vapor. As I contemplated the brevity of life, it was a strange thought that in all of eternity, our short time on earth is so important. I wonder why it works out that way.

Then, I began thinking into the future, thousands of years. So many years later, will I still remember, still regret what I did or did not do here? I tend to dwell in guilt, so it was pretty typical for me to fear regret. So the conversation in my head was rolling. I want my life to count. I want to have purpose. In response I said, “How?” Some people do great things: they become missionaries; they give their lives to serving; they ride bikes across America to earn money for wells in Africa. But how do average, everyday people live each day in a way that makes life glorifying to God, without regret.

I tend to be of the mindset that in order to be pleasing to God, I have to do something big, something that leaves an evident footprint in the world. I think deep down I know this isn’t a true philosophy, but when I just live everyday life, I feel useless.

I believe a lot of this confusion stems from my upbringing that focused so much on works. These were good works, mind you: soul-winning, church attendance, Bible reading, choir singing. All these things are great things! But you know, they don’t make God love me more, and those things alone don’t make me super Christian. And I’ve found they don’t make me satisfied either. There is something deeper, something more.

There is that feeling of being alone with God, and knowing that He is your all. Even when you forget to read your Bible; even when all your friends go their separate ways; even when you fail in the most miserable way. There is no alone. God is present.

And then I start to realize, there is more to this life than just the things I do. There is the experience of God and me. From the beginning of creation, the plan was for God and me. Our time on earth exists because God intended us to walk with Him. Sin has ruined that perfect moment, but each day, we live to find those moments with Him. Sometimes, those moments will include serving others, sharing the Gospel, giving to the poor, but at other times, it will just be God and me. Alone. And in a thousand years, I want to look back and remember that God was with me, because truly, it’s about Him. It was never about me.

So as I continue to feel lost, no matter where my mind takes me, I think it’s most important to remember that He is near, and I am not lost, nor am I alone.


Anonymous said...

He is always near. No matter what. I do understand that struggle of wondering how the average, everyday life is glorifying to God the way a life lived in total service is. Perhaps my innate rebellion against the idea that someone in "full-time Christian ministry" is somehow better than the accountant who loves the Lord protected me from the level of struggle you have had. Perhaps my limited experience in fundamentalism did as well. But even I had and have my struggles. Wondering about my level of spirituality because it's been three days since I read my Bible, etc. The thing I have to remind myself, the truth the His word shows, is that my getting up out of bed and brushing my teeth in order to go to school and teach excellence brings glory to God. My singing a praise song in the car is glorifying to God. My smile and hello to the next-door neighbor is glorifying to God. It isn't in the big things like digging wells in arid areas. It's in everything. My life brings glory to Him because He lives in me. It's a very liberating thought, but not an easy thought habit to form when your habits have been formed under the teaching that good works=more spiritual.

Kass said...

You're so insightful. I really love this. Can I link to this on my blog?

Sizzledowski said...

of course you can, kass :)

Rebekah said...

Well, I have no idea who you are, I just clicked on Reality Bites on my profile and your profile popped up and so I read, but, anyway, I digress.

I couldn't phrase it as eloquently as either you or dramaturge did but there definitely is a way to serve God in the little things. I felt the same way when my younger sister went off to Bible college and here I was an auditor (almost like an accountant!) that wasn't necessarily called to the brothels of Thailand or the mountain villages of Peru like she was. I was called to Dallas and when I finally realized that I can serve God wherever I am, He decided to actually use me. Most of the people I work with are lost and need Christ just as much as that person in Thailand.

I still find myself comparing my sister and me and our Christian service but now I've matured and realized that I can be an auditor in Dallas, Texas and reach people for Christ even though I don't have a job where...that's my job. Make sense?

And your cycle comment makes sense. The Israelites did it with God...they served Him, then they'd turn, then they'd be repentant, serve Him, turn from Him, repentance, you get it. Although, I'll say that the 'loved by God' part I wouldn't consider part of the cycle, just because, He forever loves us :)

Thanks for posting!