I'm always a little weary to blog late at night because 1. My already non-existent filer is even more non-existent. and 2. I should be sleeping. But sometimes your thoughts race and the hum-buzz of the cars passing by just isn't comforting and you need to just write.
This week has had a theme and that theme isn't really all that nice. The theme of my week was: I'm a hypocrite.
Pretty terrible. HEY AT LEAST I'M ADMITTING IT, RIGHT?
Since I was 16 I have been saying, "I'm a Christian." That word is a loaded word. You say the word "Christian" and it can send people running. It contains hurt and the past and contradictions and traditionalism and cringes. For awhile I did the whole, "I don't like calling myself Christian, I'm a Jesus Follower." Well, yes, of course I follow Jesus but also that means that YES I AM CHRISTIAN. There is no getting around it so I have to embrace it. I don't want to hide from it. I am proud of it. But I also feel so convicted lately about how I've been acting and thinking. Let me play out a scenario for you:
I'm driving with my friend Whitney after work last week. We're making a quick stop so I can pick up sneakers for my softball game and I put on some worship music because I've been extremely stressed and anxious. We're listening to a beautiful song glorifying God and then someone cuts me off and BAM! I yell and honk and freak out and I realize, "Oh my gosh, I'm so stupid."
I am listening to a song that is literally talking about the LOVE of GOD and I'm suffering severe road rage. Now I'm not saying as a Christian I should strive to be perfect. That's idiotic. I'll always fall short of the mark. I'm a human. But it's also like, don't I want to live as close to Jesus as I possibly can? Don't I want to love people the way Jesus loves us and loved those He encountered? I want that. I want that so badly.
SO WHY IS IT SO FREAKING HARD TO JUST LOVE AND BE PATIENT AND RELAX. If you know me, you know I am the opposite of relaxed. The past few weeks I have been struggling with some pretty bad anxiety--which is saying something since this is the same girl who was afraid of butterflies when she was five. (What little girl is afraid of butterflies? This one. Humiliating). But there is a moment when I just have to sit back and be thankful. Dwelling and worrying and stressing and harping on something won't make it better. Do I not believe one of the most famous bible verses of all time?
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I must learn to get on my knees and give thanks to God in all seasons and all times. It's easy to praise God when things are going great - but to really get down and be truly thankful, even through the rough patches? That is faith. That is real, pure, genuine love for God and faith. I want that.
I can repeat a thousand times to a thousand people, "I'm a Christian." But it is not enough to merely say the words. I must pray, Holy Spirit, move in me. Jesus, I surrender my heart to you.
I don't ever want to forget what it was like at Lake Saranac in June of 2006. When I sat beneath the night sky with the miraculous and bright upstate New York stars. When I felt a change inside of me and I knew my life was going to be different. I don't want to forget. When I lay awake at night and feel my heart beating and I feel the nerves start to creep up my neck, my breathing in and out, in and out, I want to remember. I want the peace to flood through my body and I want to feel God's arms wrapping around my frame. I want to feel truth.
And it's so easy to forget. That's the crazy thing about all of this - it can take so long to build a healthy, real relationship with God and just a second to knock it all down. Especially here in Los Angeles. It's easy to forget I'm fearfully and wonderfully made when I pass storefronts that scream at me to buy this shirt or those pants and that will give me validation somehow. In a place that is obsessed with materialism it's hard to remember that Jesus lived among the poor. We, as human beings, are called to love one another and especially the poor and brokenhearted. How often do I pass a homeless person and my eyes immediately dart away? How often do I become impatient with someone at work because they are talking too slow or aren't understanding what I am trying to get across? How often do I feel jealousy for other women's looks or certain relationships or someone's success? The answer is ALL. THE. TIME.
But enough is enough. I don't want to live a life of hypocrisy and a life of petty aspirations and simple dreams and greed. I don't want any of that. So I'll start small.
And the next time someone cuts me off on the road, I'll make sure I'm listening to Eminem so I won't feel like a hypocrite when I freak out. KIDDING!!!!!
I won't curse or yell or freak out. I'll simply take a moment and just let it pass. Let the anger flow away and know that God is doing huge things in the world and I want to be a part of that. I want to be a part of the good and the real and the genuine. Practicing something as simple as not cursing when I get angry driving is the least I can start with.