Thursday, March 30, 2006

Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard...

I grew up in a baptist church (progressive at the time, so not progressive now), gave my life to Christ at the age of 7 (got "saved" as they say) in my home. I don't recall being specifically taught this from the pulpit, but I got a crazy notion in my head that I would actually talk to God, he would talk to me, we would, you know, have a relationship. I couldn't have put those words to it at age seven, but I'm certain now something inside me changed, someone began compelling me to want Him. So, in response, I learned how to do church. That was what you did. Oddly enough, doing church was not modeled in my house, my dad actually related to, talked to, cried to, argued with, God. As I got older and more churchified, I actually thought my dad was a little less spiritual than me, now my own stupidity is much clearer. I really wanted to relate to God, and the church life was not helping. I was slipping into habitual sin and addiction, and powerless to resist. Between the ages of 7 and 22, I got "saved" and baptized four times, because I was convinced I didn't know God. I don't know how much you actually "know" someone as beyond me as God, but one thing was certain, I had no sense of actually relating to Him, so, down the aisle, say the prayer, freakin' freezing cold water, and...same old shit.

I should have walked out on church, but by that time I had started singing and leading worship, and there was something alive in me then that I could not deny, so I stayed. At least for a precious few moments, I found myself doing something that I felt made to do, and the ever elusive God that I said I served seemed so close, at times I know I truly connected.

I still have this crazy notion that God intends for me to relate to Him, that he's after an intimacy that I can't grasp. Only now I'm around pastors who say that it's not just a crazy notion, it's good theology. Great. Thanks. Over the past couple of years I've begun to realize that I feel these promptings, kind of still and quiet like, inside of me. I've grown to believe that it's the life of God in me, relating. I'm sure I don't always hear it well, but it's there. I felt it before, doing the church life, but it seemed to contradict what I was told the Bible said to do. Imagine that.

Why would a poor woman give all she had, (see Mark 12, hear Kyle Sunday), or another lady pour extremely expensive perfume out, (see Matt 26, hear Kyle Sunday), why would they do these extravagant things? I think why they would do this and how I relate to God are connected. What can I give that is of utmost value? What can I break open and pour out on the one who gave all for me? Do I want to do either?

6 comments:

SuperMom said...

Wow. I so relate to your post. I also had that "experience" at a young age and got some good religion along the way. Now I find myself struggling to find a way to relate to God that is honest and real. I know He's there somewhere.

I am really going to enjoy your blogging :-)

Daniel Sharples said...

Hey man

I really enjoy the blog. Your longing for God and your honesty remind me so much of my own search for this unknown yet knowable God. I think that seemingly paradoxical statement drives the human to search for something that is so transcendent yet immanent enough for us to grasp. I look forward to more of your thoughts.

thebarefootpoet said...

Yeah, I read both of your comments and I say, how did what Jesus offered and what Christianity has become get so far apart? I'm not suggesting we should have it figured out or we should no longer be struggling or going through desert times on our journeys, but how is it that three people (and many, many more) who have been in the faith for so long still feel so distant from what is the core of our faith? Surely something failed, or "jumped the shark" somewhere. I do know I look forward to the journey ahead with both of you!

LiteratureLover said...

Good post. Thanks for sharing your heart.

Megan said...

Hmmm - I can connect with this as well, though you have me beat by one extra salvation "experience" and baptism (though maybe I get extra credit for a rededication or two?)

thebarefootpoet said...

I think every two rededications equal one sinners prayer and baptism. At least that's the rules as I understand them: )