Posts Tagged With: apathy

Awakening

“I want to wake up kicking and screaming.
I want to live like I know what I’m leaving.
I want to know that my heart is still beating.”
~Switchfoot

I get so lost in the haze these days. Granted, I probably remember the past as being more simple than it truly was, but still… I’m looking for answers in what feels like a half-asleep daze, yet I dislike both those who claim to have simple, pat solutions and those who say “Your choice…I don’t want to sway you.” Why don’t we all come with instruction manuals?

I complain too much. I’ve got it good compared to many, both in mental and physical ways; to grumble about feelings of stagnation and apathy really doesn’t do anyone any good, but then what does? Someone told me “You did come with an instruction mainual– God’s Word.” It isn’t that simple. I don’t like change, but neither do I like rutstuckedness. I think I would take change over these feelings. Maybe I’ll meet God at camp and He will tell me what to do, but I have my doubts.

Doubts…I think I have all of the disciples’ weaknesses: doubting Thomas, impulsive Peter, wanting God to do what I expect is his plan and remove my troubles (for him the Romans) Judas. So many weaknesses and so few strengths. I wish I got directions in visions like Paul. “Go here. Do this.” But I guess we all have different versions of the thorn in the flesh to remind us of our humanness. That’s something I hope never to forget– my unworthiness and God’s grace. Our camp theme is going to be “It’s Not About Me”, something this grumbler could use to be reminded of. It’s about Him and His glory and His plan, even when I see no semblance of an organized plan in my life.

I need to get out of this fog. I want to wake up, know what I’m leaving, feel my heart beating, and really live, whether that means leaving the humdrum and mundane behind or learning to live voraciously in the midst of routine I do not know. I rather hope it is the former. Care to share any ideas of what has helped you to break out of spiritual ruts? I would love the help of The Body. Tell me, how do you keep from losing heart? How do you stay spiritually awake?

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Categories: My Life, Ponderings | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Confession

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think I am not a very good witness. Actually, I know I am not a very good witness. I have no valid excuse. I love the people; I love them to the core of my being, and I will cry and pray over their plight. I cannot dispute what humankind deserves, though I hate to think of it, but somewhere before the rubber hits the road there must be a disconnect because I know I am not a very good witness. In my silence I will lose them. Because in so many ways I can be found guilty of doing nothing. Yes, I try to live my faith to the best of my ability. You can read my Christian t-shirt, or folder, or locker magnet. But somewhere  between the alter and the door, or between Sunday and Monday I lose resolve in my responses.

I am not very good at in-person debates. Give me the written word and some time to think, and I will delight in debating, but I am not very good at responses. The crucial moment comes, and my neutral response passes without conflict.  Another moment passes unseized,  another scenario to replay late into the night. There is a difference between not doing wrong, and doing right. As I think I consider my ‘friends’. (Friends as in people  I see and talk to daily; people I care about, though they apparently don’t know me beyond the surface.) Do they know my passion? Do they know my failings? Do they see me leaning on God? As someone who advocates vulnerability am I real with them? Sometimes I am forced to wonder…When they are surprised that I say “I’m screwed.” before a test. She said “I like that you.” I said “What?”

I don’t try to have a good girl persona. I get depressed too. If they don’t even know that part of me then how can they know something deeper, like faith? I see these people every weekday. Minutes add up to hours, and hours add up to days. Days of my life spent with these who do not even know me. I’m not a very good witness even though I care deeply. This makes me mad, and sad, and dissatisfied. How can anyone make it through life without God? How can I stand not  to tell them? That’s wrong…To keep the truth hidden inside. I do care, but my responses are off. They draw out the tough girl in me, or  the good girl, or maybe just the passive chameleon. I don’t try to change who I am with different people. I want to be  the same me always. I want to be consistent because inconsistency irks me. Sometimes I think I don’t know  how to be a good witness, and sometimes I think that’s just  an excuse. I’m frustrated with myself today: how could I let something that important go by the wayside? There is a chance I could save someone from drowning, and here I stand observing saying “I think I’m not a very good witness…”

Categories: My Life, Ponderings, rants | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

Uncomfortableness, and Projectile Vomiting

I need to be uncomfortable. God hates complacency. God hates lukewarm. God wants my relationship with Him to be ever growing and expanding. I need to be doing new things- scary things- always. It’s a part of being a disciple; it’s a part of vulnerability. I’ve been discovering lately how good uncomfortableness is for my walk with God.

I’ve never heard a testimony that didn’t involve brokenness. I’ve never seen change without risk. Funny, how I’m realizing the obvious now, all at once. I just stepped out into uncomfortableness today, and though I’m not going to tell you how (at least not yet) I will tell you that I’ve discovered that it makes a difference. When I’m uncomfortable I lean harder on God. When I take a  ‘step of faith’ it stretches me.

Honesty is hard. Transparency is insane. Accountability is terrifying. You see the pattern? These are all things I need to grow on in my life. Where do you need to grow? Hmm. See, it’s easy to look at my role model Christians, and think they are comfortable in their walks with God. They have a system; a way of doing things. Maybe that’s just the way I’ve seen it, or maybe they need shaken up. Maybe both.

So, let me challenge you. Are you comfortable? Are you complacent, or compromising? Lukewarmness leads to projectile vomiting (occasionally out of the mouths of big fish), and if you’re anything like me you’ve learned that from experience. If you’re anything like me you don’t want to go there again. What is that next step for you? What is the thing you’ve been avoiding, Take a good hard look at it, pray a good hard prayer, and step out on faith. I can promise you (I know from experience) God will come through every time.

Categories: My Life, Ponderings | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

The Body in Action

We call the church the body of Christ; do we even come close to living up to that name? Really? I realized last week how tired I am of hearing “That’s too bad.” or “Someone should help them.” in response to tragedies and hard situations. I’m tired of hearing those words everywhere, but especially within the church. Somehow, I just can’t imagine those words coming out of Jesus lips. I can’t see Jesus passing by, or using prayer as an excuse not to do more. But it is not my place to pick the sawdust out of everyone else’s eyes before taking the log out of my own. I’m just as guilty of that as anyone else. I try not to settle for apathy, but that doesn’t mean that I always succeed when tested…

Power walking down the hall, heading for the door that would lead me to my bus I spotted a blond head out of the corner of my eye. I heard her sobbing, and I saw the tears. This was a girl I had casually chatted with on a couple of occasions, her head down as she wept, sitting on the wooden bench by the door. I knew I should stop. I can’t tell you how, but I just knew. Some other girls, presumably her friends were coming up behind me, talking at her from a distance. I slowed my pace, just another gawker who would walk on the other side of the way.  Just another person who knew who her neighbor was, but was unwilling to help. I reasoned myself out of it. If you stop you won’t be able to reach your bus on time. It isn’t a short story, the one she has to tell. Besides, you don’t know her. Her friends will know how to help her better. And with the swish of a door her problems were out of my life excepting a quick prayer which did little to ease my conscience.

Would that have been Jesus response? I’ll answer that question with a resounding no. Jesus came to help the hurting, and to bring them release from their sins. Yet how often is that my own response, or the response of the supposed ‘body of Christ’? More often than we would like to admit, I’m sure. We like to think of the fatherless as those across the sea. We like to categorize those widows Jesus talked about as out of our sphere of influence. Often we will put our money where our mouth is, but ourselves? Do we work to bring the kingdom down to earth? Do we suffer as  if we were actually those we are in prison? Rarely.

I discovered this last week how utterly fulfilling it is to put our bodies where our mouths are. To get dirty, and to be used by God in the life of others is an amazing experience. But more importantly I discovered that there is still hope for the body of Christ. We are imperfect, and we mess up, but when God put an apparent need for more than prayer in the path of our churches journey many rose to meet it. How helpful were we actually? I don’t know, but I know we tried. It was encouraging to see the church becoming Jesus hands and feet, it was thrilling to watch vehicles continually pull up into that driveway. Representatives from a couple of churches, and all walks of life showed up because that prayer request on the computer screen needed to be met. Sometimes God calls us to pray and sometimes God calls us to be answers to prayer. The church may be defective, but satan has far from entirely won the battle, and so when the special music for Sunday was How Beautiful is the Body of Christ I was able to agree with a wholehearted yes. All is not lost, and though the body may be very marred and broken, the right heart still beats beneath that exterior: the heart of God, and that’s what really counts

Categories: Ponderings | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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