Lately I’ve been running. Didn’t even know it until the other day. I look at my brother, who I’ve loved for so long, and I don’t see a friend—I see a client.
Like why can’t you all just figure out it like I have, like it is so obvious, like I would’ve handled that situation a little differently and a lot better, like look at that verse I read the other day that says, “Wisdom is justified by her deeds.” My life is pretty good and yours is pretty bad. What does that say?
My life is pretty good, it’s true. Me and the wife are pretty good. My job is pretty good. My habits are pretty good. My finances are pretty good. My keeping up with the house is pretty good. My … devotions have been pretty bad. I haven’t known what to say in prayer time, if I am being honest. Lately reading the Word has felt like a drag. I was there at the last two sermons but the minute they ended, I couldn’t tell you what they were about. Everyone said they were good but I couldn’t remember a single thing about them. I still can’t.
What a joke to think that I feel I understand life. I’ve been living my life as if God’s not there, as if this world is pretty much the point and each other is pretty much all we’ve got. Whenever someone brings up an idol they have, I always feel like I need to clarify that the thing being idolized isn’t bad—as if they don’t know that, as if that is such an important point. Behind the curtain, I don’t want to think about how I get more unrestrained excitement from eating pizza than I do hearing about a friend of a friend finding Jesus, and my priorities are so screwed up that I can’t bare it when someone else realizes the same thing about themselves so I have to reassure myself by clarifying that the things they like and I like are not bad. I don’t trust God—sovereign, all-powerful, all-loving, all-wise God—with the fate of my friends. I think it is my job to be a walking soul-fixer, as if my soul is fixed. Whenever people talk about him, I get into this academic mode, saying this and that about this and that. I do a subtle avoidance of his actual, true reality, all the while fooling myself into thinking that I am being a good Christian man.
I’ve been running, running away from him again. Why do I always do this? Why is it that when I suddenly feel like I do want to praise him about something, I feel stupid? Why do I feel uncomfortable making my praises big? Like I feel fine saying the sunset is beautiful, but something makes me not want to say that God is an incredible artist. What!
I’ve been running from him again, why do I do that? Why do I get so weary of things that should be bringing me joy? Why is it that I don’t live life like he is actually around? And why do I make very intelligent excuses for this?
But like, maybe this is actually normal. Maybe as you get older, and more mature in the faith, spirituality changes. Maybe I am just looking for an emotional high, when that’s not how it works. Maybe I shouldn’t force myself into anything, but just let it happen naturally. Maybe I’m not resting in my Savior. Maybe this is how people feel this far into the walk: kinda gently doing life in his Way, fulfilling duties and serving Him.
Or maybe not. I’m not sure. Today I can’t tell the difference between being happy and being sad.
I don’t know. Father, oh God, oh Abba Father. I feel low. I feel so low. But I feel closer to you than I have in a while. Ha, they always say that’s how it works, but I never believe them. Oh Father, draw me to you. I don’t know why I run from you. I don’t know why I doubt, why I act like you aren’t there, why I am ashamed of the Gospel when there are people around who don’t believe in you. I don’t know why I talk all this intellectual nonsense to avoid intimacy with anyone, especially you. I don’t know why I am still scared.
I do know that I need you so badly. Oh Father, having a pretty good life is good, I long for your provision and I am unfathomably privileged to receive it. It is truly unfair. But truth be told, a pretty good life is worthless if it draws me away from you. I don’t want comfort if it pulls me from you. I want to know you. I want your gifts to remind me of the goodness of you, not of the goodness of the gifts. I want to praise you unhindered. I want to play the child even as I play the man.
Change me, change me.