Monday, April 10, 2006
Seeking A Purpose Driven Life
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I miss feeling close to God.
… He has proven Himself to me, where all other beliefs and notions failed. …
But I have isolated myself from Him. And I’m a little disoriented on how to find my way back …
… as I search for the trail of breadcrumbs I intended to leave for myself, it seems I either ran out long ago, or (more likely) the albatrosses in my life have eaten them all. …
I know I can find my way back easily enough. I know the things I need to do. … I’m sure He is sending me smoke signals to aid in my journey …
… if I can only get myself to look up from the ground.
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I wrote these (greatly edited down) words here in this blog last summer. Due to some events I and mine went through a few years back, I had decided to distance myself from God so as not to grow bitter towards Him for some unfortunate events that had come our way. At the time it made sense, though it doesn’t really now.
We have since traversed and lived through these emotional hardships. Yet I’m pretty much still in this same spot on the inside. Too busy looking inward, too self absorbed to look upward.
I’ll not rehash said hardships as they are really inconsequential to my thoughts today. And I have wrestled with whether I even want to blog about this. I had a political and theological website previously, and therefore generally keep those as subordinate topics here - though I do not hide my affiliations, this is my creative playground - just my place to come and have fun. But what do we write about but what’s on our minds? What makes us who we are but what we believe and what we live? This is what is forefront in my mind these days. And so I reflect upon it here now.
I have been a born again Christian for many years, but I have waxed and waned in my walk through life, as most everyone does. And I have layed in the rancid proverbial bed I'd made many, many times. I have always been most happy and content and at peace with things when I have a good and intimate friendship with God (FYI, my beliefs are 'Trinitarian' – and in my casual way I tend to use the words God, Lord, Jesus and Christ interchangeably). Yet I have so often found myself far away – just kind of wandering around on the edge of the pages. I develop feelings of aloofness towards spending time with God despite all I know about the blessings of being in His presence. That’s the Devil’s way though – subtle and stealthy at sidetracking us. He’s very good at what he does.
I’ve known for quite a while that I need to return to my closeness with God, but have not especially felt the want to do this. It’s hard for me to say that because it makes me feel terrible, but that is the truth of the matter. I have distanced myself for so long that I’ve lost current touch with the thrill that is a personal relationship with Christ.
I have never thought such a faith had to be stuffy and dogmatic and stick-up-the-butt – it’s never felt that way to me. While it's not always easy, it's thoroughly comforting and often very fun when you are truly in His care, not to mention much less nerve wracking. It is not a walk but a dance. Yet once you begin to get away from it - before you know it, it’s so far away you can barely see it in yourself. The heart grows stoic before you even notice. God becomes like an aged grandparent that you still love but don't think too much about anymore - despite the fact that they send you loving messages every day.
Recently the want of finding my way back is returning but the impulse has not quite accompanied it – until this weekend.
The speaking pastor at my church Sunday touched on some points and lines from the best-selling spiritual growth book, “The Purpose Driven Life”. I have heard of this book many times and many people I know have read it and sing its praises. Many would call it a self-help book, but that’s not really accurate, as you do not look to yourself for answers. It is a suggestive guide for living and achieving mental and spiritual contentment in the 21st century based on Biblical wisdom. The excerpts cited yesterday struck a deep chord in me. While out shopping for goodies for Incrediboy's Easter basket that afternoon, I decided to pick up a copy for myself.
I haven’t started the book yet, but I plan to in the very near future. It is laid out to be read in 40 days, but I see myself taking several days to chew on each excerpt – absorb what it means to me and allow it to saturate my heart. I’d really like to find my way back for good. I plan to record my thoughts and insights on this in my personal journal. I may or may not share them here – that remains to be seen. I hope that if I should decide to share, that it will be positive for my blog friends as well. A spiritual journey is a very personal experience and I won’t hold it against you if it’s not your thing. I hope the same courtesy would be extended.
In any case, I’ll still be blogging my usual nonsense either way. But tonight I just wanted to say, I am tired. I'm tired of being tired. Of being fussy, short tempered, and scattered. I'm sure everyone else in my life is tired of it too. My self imposed isolation has adversely affected every area of my life. I so easily forget that it doesn't have to be that way.
I still miss feeling close to God. But it's not He that keeps leaving me - It is I who leaves Him. And for that I am truly sorry.
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