I was talking to a girlfriend the other night and I said to her "My walk has turned into something more like a wander in the desert." (for you non-Christians, "walk" is Christianese for what can best be described in a broader sense as my "spiritual journey")
I have ADHD Christianity. I think I'm probably not alone in this, although it sure feels like to some times.
It goes something like this.....
Imagine I am walking through the desert...
I'm following Jesus, I'm following Jesus, I'm following Jes-
LOOK! A CHICKEN!
I need to catch that chicken!
Come back chicken!
Wow, chickens are fast.
Who knew a chicken could run this far?
Hey...where is Jesus?
He was just here a second ago.
I'm sure he hasn't gone far. He never does.
I'm pretty sure I can catch up.
Ooohhh...that's a pretty creek.
Jesus would sure like this creek.
Where is he anyway?
So, after I have wandered far enough to feel the distance, I decide to go looking for Jesus. Usually, the first thing I do is look at church. PHEW---I can always find him here, for an hour and a half at least. The problem becomes that as soon as I leave church my mind does this...
That was a great sermon.
I really felt like Pastor was speaking to me.
I feel like I have some real direction.
By the way, what should we have for lunch?
Or dinner for that matter?
I probably need to go to the grocery store.
And do some laundry.
And this is all before I even get home. So then I go looking again. Maybe Ill check online. You would think that on the world wide web he would be easy to find, but he's not. It seems I only find Hateful Jesus there. Hateful Jesus is not the real Jesus. Hateful Jesus is an asshole. (Yes, I swear. A lot. Worry about your own sin and I'll worry about mine, thanks.) So I start to feel a little more lost. I check the Bible, but I already know 2000-year-old Jesus pretty well. Then, sometimes, sad or distressing things happen and I can reach out and feel him in the night, in the dark, but I can't stand it when that's the only place I can find him. Then I get distracted by work, and kids and home work and housework and all the things. After a while I will try again to figure out a good place to look for the light-filled, loving, 2015 Jesus.
So, to that end, this weekend I am heading to California to Women of Faith with some friends. I need to recenter myself. I need to reconnect and start paying attention again.
I need to remember that Jesus wants me to do as well as feel. That feeling horrible about little Syrian baby boys who have washed up on shore is fine, but feeling isn't enough. Doing is required. Maybe all I can do for someone half a world away is give money, but I still need to do that. And while I'm at it, how am I feeling and what am I doing about the immigrants in my own backyard? Those who have washed up here, fleeing in fear, looking for a better life for their children?
I need to remind myself that I am in need of so much grace, but that grace for me means grace for all. It's a package deal and I have to give as well as get. I'm not special and I don't get to decide who is worth it and who isn't. (Although, if He ever needs any help, I would be totally awesome at that job. Just saying'.)
I need to recognize that while life might be hard for me at times, its actually hard for everyone at times and being short or impatient is not really helpful. It doesn't teach people to speed up, or to stop doing whatever it is they are doing that I find annoying, it just teaches them that I'm a bitch and I'm pretty sure that's not the face of Christianity I'm supposed to be showing to the world.
I need to realize that all the burdens I insist on carrying on my back aren't mine and mine alone. That I can let go of the things that are out of my control and trust that they will work out however they are supposed to. Whether I like it or not.
I need, therefore, I will go and be refilled.
And I hope that whatever journey you are on, you also have somewhere to go and be refilled, where love and light shine on you in such abundance that you cannot help shining them onto, and into, the world.
I hope that the next time I have wandered off, chasing lizards and getting caught up in the world, you will shine some of your light on me.