I’m an idiot. Big revelation, eh? I can’t even figure out how incredibly dense I am. It’s like a black hole of stupidity. Massive density, infinitely small size. And I know every time someone screws up and says, “Oh, I’m such an idiot!” people come around and comfort them, saying, “Oh, come now, you’re not so bad. You couldn’t have helped it; it’s not your fault.” But hey, this one is, believe me. I’m an idiot from my own design. I came, I saw, and I conquered my intelligence and turned it into selfish stupidity that at least partly stemmed from sheer laziness. And now I’m reaping the benefits of it – or consequences, which is probably the better term for it.
It all started back somewhere near the beginning of the term at university. Somewhere in between the hubbub of meeting people and getting used to this whole new experience, God got primarily forgotten. Oh, of course He was still there, and I thought about Him occasionally, but for the most part, things were too busy for me to really concentrate on my relationship with Him. And I’m sure He understood at first. You know, since He knows everything about me and all. The little pinch of guilt I felt kept nagging at me. I knew I needed to talk to Him and keep things going, but there was just so much to do! I had to meet people! I had to figure out what my classes were going to be like! So I apologized to God and told Him that once things settled down a bit, I would find a time to set aside for Him.
Fast forward to today. As of right now, I really have not found that time. To be honest, I haven’t really looked all that hard. Oh yeah, during the times when I really felt guilty, I’d pray to God, ask for His forgiveness, and promise Him that I’d get things patched up again and start reading my Bible more regularly. And then I’d go on with my day, content that I’d made things up and had made a commitment to becoming a better person. Until, of course, the next guilt trip. The Holy Spirit came back and started tapping on my shoulder again. Gently, of course, but firmly. And I firmly tried to ignore it while still keeping up appearances of spirituality. I made it to church almost every week (minus the few weeks while my friend and I figured out when the bus came and such to pick us up). I even read my Bible…a few times. I struggled through the rest of Ephesians, where I had stumbled and fallen several times, and then decided that it was just too difficult to find a time to set aside to read it consistently.
You know the excuses. I had no time. It’s always too loud in my residence. There’s no place to get away and be alone. And all those reasons are true. But deep down, I never really tried to find time. And I knew it. I tried to shut it out of my mind, but I knew it. And now I feel like a Hebrew. I feel like I’m caught in the cycle that they went through during the book of Judges. Let’s see how many times we can screw up and have God forgive us before He finally catches on that we’re really not going to change! Each time of prosperity after God’s forgiveness just gave them an excuse to go and mess it all up again by sinning. Why can’t we humans ever just figure it out and stay out of trouble? Sometimes it feels like I’m just never going to get out of it.
But wait! There’s hope. Somewhere off in the distance, I try to visualize a time when somehow, in some way, I’ll have managed to finally get rid of these old rags I call my old self – not, of course, by anything I’ve done, but by what Christ has done for me. And yet, somewhere in there, we’re responsible for doing our part. Ultimately, it’s Christ that saves us, and Christ that empowers us, but once God’s given us the power, it’s our job to actually use it. And that’s where I’ve completely slipped up and fallen down the horrible slope that is complete and utter failure. And this is where I sit – shaken up by the part of me that hates where I am, but also quite comfortable with my position. After all, I’ve been here for nearly four months, and the seat’s just getting warmed up now. But that’s just stupid. Nobody sits willingly in a pile of horse dung unless they don’t realize what they’re sitting on. And yet that’s exactly what I’m doing – sitting on a pile of sin that just keeps building up. And I know full well where I am.
So how does one go about getting out of this predicament? A pastor or otherwise spiritually superior person would love to just come along and say, “God will give you strength to do this. Rely on His grace!” And while that’s probably the right answer, my logical and overly sarcastic reply would probably be, “Well, it doesn’t seem like He’s been too much help so far, so why should He start now?” When you really get into mundane, everyday life, a super-spiritual answer just doesn’t cut it. Save it for the theology books and the religious discussions. I want something I can use. I want the power that I need to get out of the mess that I got myself into. And I think that when it comes down to it, I just need to ask for it. I’ve been doing things on my own steam for almost four months now, and I guess this Christmas holidays is going to be all about getting things back to where they should be. It’s not about the past, it’s about the future. And to be honest, I have no idea what’s going to happen. I never really do anymore. All I know is that at some point I have to just get up off my back, get back onto my feet, and keep on trudging through whatever God puts me through. I know that’s sort of a miserable way to put things, but I have a feeling that, when one’s been sitting on a pile of dung for several months, they’re going to be wading through crap for a while before they start to break free. But of course, it all starts with getting up. And so, I will attempt to do just that. Stage one: get back onto my feet.