The Swing of the Pendulum

Several months ago, I wrote a very personal article regarding my own lack of relationship – of belief, really – with and in Jesus. Since that time, God has been doing some incredible things and my relationship with Him is changing. I am changing. And I’m both comforted and confused by it.

For all of my life as a believer, I’ve focused on doing the “right” thing. It’s not just something I did, it’s who I was. For most of my Christian life, I’ve had a very clear idea of what my life was supposed to “look like” as a life lived for God, and I’ve striven to do and be everything I thought God might want me to do and be. It’s what has defined my life as a believer – it’s who I’ve been “in Christ.” My identity as a person has been wrapped up in that, and it’s difficult to let it go. The more God pours His love on me, though, the less I’ve been concerned – or the less I feel I’m supposed to be concerned – with “walking the line.” And that is a very, very odd feeling for me.

There have been times lately when I look inward to do a little self check-up and find myself asking the question: “are you becoming secular?” I have a friend who hates that word, and I don’t blame him, but it’s the only word I know to describe how I’m feeling. I’m doing things, saying things, feeling things – even praying things – that I’ve never allowed myself to do and say and feel and pray before. On the inside, I feel like a snow globe that has been all shaken up and I’m still waiting for the dust to settle.

I heard an analogy a long time ago that I thought was silly at the time, but I’ve come to appreciate. The pastor was speaking on John 5, where Jesus heals a man by the pool of Bethesda. After the man is healed, he gets up and carries his mat away. The Jews saw him carrying his mat on the Sabbath, chastised him and later persecuted Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. The pastor made the analogy that the Jews chastising this man was similar to someone chastising a paraplegic who, immediately upon being healed, went out to mow his grass on the Sabbath, out of pure joy in the ability to do so. That’s a little bit how I’m feeling right now. I feel as if Jesus is saying to me: “Permit it at this time” (Mat 3:15.)

My pendulum is swinging.

I have no idea how far it will swing, or where it will stop. What I do know, what I have come to believe, is that God is going with me on this journey, not only encouraging it but instigating it. I have a feeling that soon, some groups of Christians will be judging me for being too “secular” just as others have always judged me for being too “legalistic.” And I’m okay with that. I’m going to allow myself to swing… even if it means swinging in the “wrong” direction for a little while, before coming back to center.

I’m planning to (or perhaps I should more truthfully say I’m hoping to!) enjoy the ride.


Category: My Testimony


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3 Responses to The Swing of the Pendulum

  1. I love this. I have recently been feeling many of the same things. I am also a do-gooder and find it easiest to be with other do-gooder’s. Staying close to the church or a group of believers was comfortable, safe. Standing by my values and making sure that those I allowed in had those same values was a priority. I can’t really explain it but God started putting it on my heart to get outside of my comfort zone. I started reaching out to those who were hurting (people I would have previously called sinners). The closer I got to them (a dangerous thought to me before) the more I realized that I liked them, a lot. They were real, and even though they had been deeply hurt (mostly by Christians) I was beginning to have the first meaningful conversations about my savior and what it means to me to be a follower of him. And you know what? They listened. And like you said, others judged me. They still are judging me, but I’m learning to let that go because being given the opportunity to share Christ with the unsaved, in your own community, almost daily is what following Christ should look like. I’ll have plenty of time for “perfect” in heaven! Once again, thanks for sharing Rina!

    • Rina says:

      Michelle, thank you for sharing what you’ve been going through, and what God is leading you through, with me. It’s such an odd place to be, isn’t it? But in a way it’s a wonderful place to be… I feel like I’m just beginning to taste what it means to be “free in Christ.”

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