I think I need to begin by being honest with myself.
Spiritually speaking, this has been a bit of a down week for me. I have found myself preoccupied with other people’s concerns and business, I have filled my time with mindless activity (who knew solitare could be so all-consuming?), and in general, have been self-centered. What have I neglected in place of all of these others? Time with God. I should learn, and hopefully will learn one day, that when I don’t spend time with God on a frequent (read: daily) basis, my outlook on life and behavior is greatly affected. As I’m typing this, I’m reminded of a passage in C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. The elder demon is instructing his young nephew how to prevent his human charge from becoming a Christian. He advises,
” Your business is to fix his attention on the stream [or immediate sense experiences]. Teach him to call it ‘real life’ and don’t let him ask what he means my ‘real’.”
I feel like I’ve been experiencing day to day life, but not “real” life like what I experience when I’m walking according to the plans God has for me. And how am I supposed to know what those plans are? Spending time with Him.
This all comes up as a result of the sermon I heard this morning. Our pastor was, at one point, talking about the experience he had had that week based on his spending time with the Lord. Now, I have had times like that too, when I feel a connection spiritually to God, and feel like I’m in tune with His will. But when I’m not spending time with him, I am disconnected. I’m trying to do things the way that I think is best. I’m trying to give MY advice rather than speak words of grace to people that will build them up (Ephesians 4:29) So… what’s the result of all of this? I have not been loving others the way I should (family, friends, etc…), I have felt “out of sorts”, I have expended my efforts in trying to fix myself (rather than giving my burdens to Christ), and have suffered physical consequences for it (fatigue, anxiety, tenseness).
While this is meant to be a personal confession, I know that there may be other people who read it. So, let me clarify that I am not bashing myself, and I don’t want anyone to get the impression that Christianity is oppressive. Further from the truth that could not be! The oppressiveness I have felt is not because I am a Christian, but because I have not been living according to God’s best will for me! I know that there are people who will say that “they are not Christian, and are not oppressed feeling”. And, you may think that’s truth. I’m not sure I would have recognized being oppressed from true freedom until I earnestly made an effort to be in relationship with Jesus. I think once I realized the lightness of spirit that comes from real relationship, anything but that feels oppressive.
So, where am I going with all of this? Nowhere in particular. I just really felt like that was what was on my heart today, and I’m trying to be honest with myself and others in this blog.
I’m going to end by putting the words to one of my favorite (current!) songs, because I think it reflects the peace I feel when I’m walking with God.
The More I Seek You
The more I seek You, the more I find You
The more I find You, the more I love You
I want to sit at Your feet, drink from the cup in your hand,
lean back against You and breathe, feel Your heartbeat.
This love is so real, it’s more than I can stand,
I melt in Your peace, it’s overwhelming me.