Anyone who tries to tell you that living your life for Jesus is easy is an idiot. Not only is it difficult at times it is down right brutal and bordering masochistic. No no, it IS masochistic. You cannot help but feel you are completely depriving yourself of happiness and a pain-free existence, and every day you get to figure out what the eff else is wrong with you. Forgive my F.
There’s no doubt in my mind that most agnostics who started out as Christians are just tired. Tired of struggling through, tired of trying to feel something they just simply don’t, and mostly tired of faking it. I’ve been there. Heck, some days I’m there again. It’s “easy” to sit there and pretend everything is great and quip out a “God is good all the time” with a cheesy grin, but you know generally speaking the world is screwed up beyond belief and specifically speaking your life is a disaster zone.
My life isn’t so bad, right? I mean that’s what we tell ourselves and keep from sharing any of the real struggles we’re having, cuz God forbid we still struggle with anything. Especially something we struggled with once before or the time before that or that time back in college or when we first did … whatever…I mean if you’re still having a problem with that, obviously you haven’t given it to God and you are loathsome. Well, we knew that already.
The philosophers among us start thinking well wait a sec, God created this whole construct and we have to play by His rules because He made the matrix. So He’s really just a sadist who lets us work it out and watches us writhe along in agony until He decides to take us or if He ever gets around to coming back. (Don’t stand too close to me right now.)
And what about this idea that eternity will be like a massive do-over and everything will be reset to how it was supposed to be in the first place? Why couldn’t He just do that, you know, in the first place?
It’s all a mystery. And many give up the hunt. I get that. I’m with you – I’ve been there. Can’t get my mind around it and I will go ahead and say I never will. Living in that balance of understanding and not understanding is stressful and painful and tiresome.
Then I go and make decisions to do things that are the furthest from right that I can, maybe to prove something to me, to God (as if), to whomever is watching. And then I feel the weight of sin drag me down, beyond all hope to the point of desperation.
I’m reminded of a scene in Lord of the Rings – Return of the King (because I’m cool like that). Not the greatest example here, but it’s a beautiful image. Right after his initial attack from Shelob, Frodo falls to the ground and as he falls, he lands in a field of grass and flowers and trees. He looks up and there’s whats-her-face saying something like “if you dont find a way, no one else will” as if that’s supposed to be comforting. But more importantly, she picks him up. And next thing you see him back in the darkness of the rocky path up on his feet, ready to get back to his quest. (Galadriel- sorry momentary lapse)
Look I still don’t get why the elves couldn’t be more useful in the whole thing and why they just became a buncha pansies and ran away. But that’s not anywhere near my point. My point is that our lives are a quest – and I do believe Tolkien would not be offended here – and we get to see, through life, what we are made of. sometimes it ain’t so pretty. But that makes the light seems that much brighter.
And we get to know how the story ends. and any Christian who isn’t longingly praying “Come quickly Lord Jesus” just doesn’t get it at all.