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