Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I don't read my Bible. There, I said it. I haven't for months. It's like when you have a fight with family and don't talk for half a year. You know you'll make peace by Thanksgiving, but for now you're content to lick your wounds and give the silent treatment.
That's pretty much how God and I are getting along these days. Generally, I'm pissed at Him. I'm sure He's got loving things to say about His wonderful plan, but right now it doesn't feel so wonderful. In fact, I feel a bit burned.
Back when I first imagined starting Campus Target God was my biggest cheerleader. One time in China a stranger approached me with a message from Him. I don't remember everything but I do remember crying a lot, and the distinct vibe that God wanted me to step out. I remember quiet moments too; just me and Him. On a Chinese bus staring at crowds of students. On the rooftop gazing up at the stars. In gentle moments He whispered to me. He gave me visions. He told me to lay down my life, to attempt the impossible, that He was with me.
How could He do that to me when He knew that I was screwed up? He knew I had issues that ministry wouldn't solve! He knew that five years down the road I'd spin out, surprising myself and others. He knew! Why then, did I experience so much favor? His anointing was at every turn! Doors swung open. Ministry happened. I felt propelled forward with the force of a shuttle launcher. I expected to morph into holiness because God seemed happy with me. Why did he let me succeed? Why did He give me those dreams? He should have chosen someone better!
That's why I'm mad at Him. He knew and He didn't stop me! It would have been simple to get someone else or not let me think of it. But He did let me. He let me fall on my face trying to be a hero. He let my ego swell thirty times too large, and then POP! My self esteem splattered across the floor.
Why couldn't I have lived a normal life? I'd rather disappear and die unknown somewhere than fail publicly. I know it's not like I'm on a national stage or anything, but it still sucks to be me. Sure, my perspective is skewed. I know it's my pride talking, but it's precisely how I feel. Telling me that it's not true simply doesn't help. Don't bother me with the truth while I'm drowning in my lie. Suffice it to say I've been less than cuddly with God lately. I'm bitter.
But yesterday I had a jarring moment of realization. An intellectual guy was rambling about his worldview. He sounded eerily empty. He had all the answers, just like I used to, but they carried no weight. Mostly his eyes betrayed him. They were deep pools of sadness. The man with all the answers had recently been served divorce papers. Yet he kept speaking as though the world fit perfectly inside his box.
As he continued I faded into philisophical musings. I wondered what I would hear if I could listen to every man in history talk about his view of the world. Suddenly I was floating through time and space as billions of voices ranted in unison. Each man fervently asserted his peculiar understanding of the universe. If I listened closely I could distinguish millions of similar and dissimilar themes about religion, philosophy, and God.
Every set of conclusions was nuanced. Most were trite, and even the thoughtful ones were tangled in layers of personal pain, emotional reactions, and other unreliable premises. Not a single voice could be trusted on it's own merit. We were too weak, too flawed, all of us together reaching desperately for answers and arriving laughably short.
That's when I realized that all the blogging in the world and all the introspection I can muster will never lead me to the truth. It will only lead me further inside my pitiably finite mind. For a moment I got madder at God. First He destroys my life, then He taunts me by being my only option? Social services would call that child abuse. They wouldn't even give God joint custody.
But He's God. He's real. And there's no way around it. And when I remember that my best thoughts on my best day don't enlighten me I end up feeling pretty safe with Him around. And a little sheepish. Like a toddler who just had a tantrum and wants to be held.