"alone" foto from http://twolips.wordpress.com/
I am not a person who often publishes raw feelings on my blog. Even my "thoughts in progress" tab/topics have been thrown around somewhat, and have been allowed to mature and settle before posting. But tonight, I found myself just typing my raw emotionally-driven thoughts and have found not only some therapy in that, but also something deeper that I can't explain. I am not a perfect person, and I never want to be seen as one. I value authenticity and honesty, and that's where these words are coming from. So I have decided to share them. Its poetic in some sense, because wrestling with these questions of who I am supposed to be (esp. in the context of my calling) was the whole reason I began this blog 137 posts ago. This is why I've never changed my profile "about me". It reminds me that my journey continues; I'm still in search of the person that I am being called to be.
So, this is my confession. These are my thoughts as of tonight after a very rough, and emotionally draining day. Some editing has been done to better clarify a thought that would not make sense without context, and to take out names. This is not meant to be a polished post, but instead, these are my raw emotions tonight that have been building up over a long period! I'm not looking for pity or sympathy, this was just something I needed to do, and I feel that is a part of my healing process to share. Suggestions/advice are welcome, but that's not the reason for this post either. I know us protestants have gotten away from the idea of confession, but there's something cathartic about laying it all out there and allowing the world to see who you are, flaws, doubts, pain and all. It may seem pointless to most, but perhaps some good will come of this. I feel LED to publish this...and at this point, feeling led is becoming a rarity...so I must cherish the opertunity when it arises!
I know I feel called to DO something! What that is? I have no clue. I'm overwhelmed by the need out there in the world (as I sit in my own world in my living room). I care about SOOOOO much! World poverty, Aids, the Environment, civil rights, human rights, world hunger, genocide, etc..
The problem is that I feel sooo overwhelmed by how big these issues are and how little I can do about them. The world and all of its problems are my responsibility as a follower of Christ, but I can't figure out where to begin, and what in the world I can do! I can do small things, but I question, "in the end, will that have been enough?" I want to enable others into action so that more people together can accomplish bigger things, but again, in the end will even that be enough?
I personally feel like none of the answers to any of my questions lie in the old, only in the new. The old informs the new, the past informs the present and the future, but there's a veil in front of whatever that "new" is that I'm searching for.
Something was said to me today that I've been thinking a lot about: "the opposite of depression is not happiness, its human vitality". So if I'm not feeling like I'm living my life to the fullest, then am I closer to depression? It feels like it! A lot like it!
Going back to the whole reason I started my blog (and is seen in wit in my profile description about being Spider-man), is that deep down I want my life to mean something. Not because I want nice things said at my funeral, I honestly could care less. Ask my wife, a point of contention we have, I'm like, "just burn my body, scatter my ashes and be done with it!" But I honestly want to know that my life made a difference in this world....more specifically, that my life and my actions have bettered the lives of others! But again, the more issues/problems I see, the more overwhelmed I become because the less I feel that I'm being productive.
Yes, I have a huge Messiah Complex and I'm the first to admit that. IDK, I've always been like that. It's just what I feel like my life is for! I felt that way even before I became a Christian. I knew that I wanted my life to count towards something important that made a difference in the world. But looking at the world, I feel like I do when I look at our office here that Ali's been begging me to clean and throw out stuff. There's SOOO much, that I stand in the door frozen not knowing where to begin. Thus, I get frustrated and depressed and nothing gets done. That's how I feel about my place in life compared to my calling right now.
I make it sound easy and simple, and in a way it is! Love God and love Neighbor. But a wise person could meditate on the meaning of that all of his or her life and never reach a full understanding of the concepts. It is both profoundly simple, and deeply complex at the same time. I want to say to myself, "stop thinking, just start walking and the first thing I come across that I can do, then do. Let that be difference I make for that day. And the next day I walk a little further and DO. And further I go each day, until I am affecting things on a bigger scale... dare I dream it to be a more global scale? For if we are walking in the shadow of Christ and caring about the things Christ cared about, we don't have to say a word, all we need to do is just do.
And we will pick up some help along the way??? We’ll have to in order to effect bigger change. But it’s not about marketing a product like Christianity...its about going out and doing because its what We're supposed to do. It's less like the Ch.'s modern approach of doing "missions" in order to up attendance. No, its more like the running scene in Forest Gump. He just ran, and ran, and ran, and people joined him. He didn't have to say a thing. He just ran, and somehow people got that without ryme or reason, without explination. Living like Christ is contagious, and needs far fewer words than we've used in modern Christian history.
But where will this journey take us? It might take me 2 blocks over to the Latino section of my own neighborhood, or to the wake crisis ministry in downtown Apex on day one. It could take me to a homeless shelter, or the food bank. I may find myself giving my coat to a person on Hillsboro St. who's cold. It may take me to a new town or city. It might even take me to the farthest reaches of the world. Or maybe not. Who knows? However, I imagine the further I go each day, the more I lose in terms of what I've been brought up to believe mattered ($, prestige, pride, possessions, etc...), but in turn I gain the things that do matter (love, compassion, humility, servant hood, direction, purpose, etc...).
But all of that sounds good in theory. Will it work? At this point in my cynical life, I have no freakin' idea? For the first time ever, I am not comfortable with where my life is. I see no light at the end of a tunnel, no hope, no direction. This would be my wilderness I would say. And the desert around me is so vast that I don't know which way to move, even though I know moving in ANY direction is better than standing still. But there I stand frozen. Waiting...Wondering....Wishing
What has brought this on? I'm not completely sure. Does having bad church experiences play into this? Does being hurt so badly by those who are supposed to be my brothers and sisters factor in? I would be lying if I said no. It plays a really BIG part. But I also realize that there are other things that play into this too! I am not placing blame, I am admiting a reality. The truth is that many experiences, the bad ch. stuff being the most recent and harmful, all play a part in where I am today.
I wonder if for the first time in my life I'm actually mad at God...not because I blame him for something he's done...but because I want to serve him so badly, yet it seems no doors are opening for me. I ask my question, "if I want to serve you so badly, then why won't you lead my willing heart?" Yet there's silence in the wilderness. I see a bush, but it does not burn. I look out to a sea that will not part.
I am trying to "walk my block", but my calling is so up in the air right now. I don't think I knew how much pain and hurting I was in until today, when, after talking with a friend and mentor, I realized how distressed and cynical I've become in less than a year's time. I have no answer to how I got to the place I'm at, but here I am, and all I want to do is move forward, but I can't figure out what's keeping me from moving my legs!
so my philosophy for my life today is, "this sucks!"
so at this point, I am a person who is sick and in need of something more than a cure. I diminish Christ when I subjugate him to ONLY being a cure to a disease. Jesus more than just a "cure to the human condition; more than simply an answer to a question?" (I think that's how Rob Bell puts it) So if he's more than that, then I too am in need of something much more drastic. New Life? Rebirth? Resurrection? Maybe when all this is done, I'll finally have a better understanding of what those things truly mean! Perhaps one can't really understand these concepts until they first experience the death of themselves. Not in a suicidal way, but strictly metaphorical: I'm ready for this old me to die so that the new can be reborn within me!!!!