Please excuse my absence. I've sat down every day this week to write and it just hasn't happened. Call that what you want.
I tend to pull into extremes sometimes. Lately it's been with Christianity. I've been seeing so much stuff that I hate, and so I just go the complete other direction and have been avoiding it all. It's easier that way.
But the truth of the matter is that I need God. Like NEED Him need Him. I'm just scared of what He's going to ask of me, and even more scared that I can't do it, or won't choose to. It's easier to not ask and not fail. I scream grace to failure all the time, when I'm just a big ole' baby who won't risk anything for Truth. Sad right?
This last weekend was a hard one. The scariness of pain hit me like a ton of bricks. I lost it hearing about where some people I love are at. I just couldn't handle the reality of the weight of what they are dealing with. It was scary.
Even scarier, I realized that the god I've always known just can't handle that stuff. No wonder it freaked me out.
I think what I've come to see as True these past few months have been a major part of redeeming that. God is proving that He isn't that god. That He would kick that god's butt in a millisecond.
Last week at Redeemer, Deuteronomy was the Pentateuchal book of choice. All week I've been coming back to so many things said. Two ideas he suggested especially.
Ambivalence. He told the story from the documentary of a woman named Susanna Kaysen. In this documentary, Kaysen is in a mental rehabilitation center and is talking to her counselor and Kaysen tells the counselor her new favorite word is ambivalence. When asked what the word meant, she replied, "I don't care." Her counselor said, "now if it's going to be your new favorite word then you need to know what it means." Kaysen responded, "No, it means I don't care." Then the counselor went on to explain that it meant the opposite. Ambivalence is having two deep passions or longings that contradict each other.
My pastor continued to talk about how we have fragmented hearts. They are ambivalent. Constantly warring against two contradictory ideas. How we live life, and loving God. We choose either/or and have no concept of what it means loving God to mean really living.
Ambivalent is my new favorite word too Susanna. It is the essence of what these few months have been for me. Contradicting ideas surrounding me. What is really true? How do I find God surrounded by such simple faith? Who was I created to be? Who really is God? What does it mean to need God? Where does my passion to create fit in all this? I'm confused. My friend has described it as being stuck in a giant field. And never being able to find anything outside of this field. Sometimes I feel so trapped within ambivalence. I just pray that some day I'll land in Truth. May God show up in this and prove Himself. I need Him to.
Point two (a quote he read): "Church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints." My pastor took it a step further to say he is fearful that Redeemer is becoming a museum for sinners. Ouch. I know I've been SO so stuck on grace, and the lack of it in the church, that I've seemed to swing too far to the other side and have disregarded the whole concept of redemption. I don't really know what that looks like.
I am ambivalent with the concept of a God that loves, redeems, is gracious, and changes and a god who wants me to read the bible, do right, and pray all the time. The latter aren't bad things, but I've got a pretty bad taste in my mouth for the connotation those hold for me I'll be honest.
I've been bitter. A lot lately. It's exhausting, but cynicism has become close friend. My mom has always told me if God is who He says He is, then He will be able to prove Himself in the hard questions. And through my bitterness. I want God so badly. The real one. Not a platitude or a safety net. He's there, I know it, but I can't say I've found Him completely yet. I'm looking though.
I'm not saying I'm not a Christian. Hear me, I love Christ. Which is why I believe my perspective is being drastically shifted. It's Him.
I'm ending with a Timothy Keller quote read this last sunday. It made sense.
God is great, so we don't have to be in control. God is glorious, so we don't have to fear others. God is good, so we don't have to look elsewhere for comfort or approval. And God is gracious so we don't have to prove ourselves.
I want that.