I think I have become a cynic. I don’t really know how this happened. All I know is I came back to Wainfleet after 3 months away and somehow I was different. I can’t really figure it out; I just see things differently. I find myself thinking things I never thought before. I used to be this feeling driven person and now I’m not so much anymore. I prayed for a long time that my faith would not be based on my feelings; perhaps this is the answer to those prayers? I find myself questioning whether people have “spiritual experiences” because God is really speaking to them or because other people have manipulated a “feel good” experience and so because they feel something then it must be God. I believe God uses our feelings and I believe that we can experience wonderful highs because we met with God in a profound way. However, feelings come and go; they sway like the wind. I know from first hand experience, anyone who knows me real well can testify.
Lately I have begun to break things apart. If we did not have the feeling then would we be left with something concrete? I’m a pastor’s kid and I really love it, most of the time. The problem with being a P.K. who is actually interested in the church is I think about things too much. I question people’s motives and reasoning behind them. I think about what people say and actually consider whether it’s biblical or not. I go home from a Christian event and discuss and think about what the real point of whatever happened was. I think about what a person who doesn’t know Jesus would think if they were to walk into a room. One time I went to this Christian event where the people started confessing the sins of our generation out loud (this was ok) but then people started to get a little freaky, I had been a Christian for a long time and I was super freaked out. All I could think about was what would someone who doesn’t know Jesus think if they walked into this room right now.
I think about bible times. I wonder if they were able to manipulate a feel good experience like we do now? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not feeling bashing here…..I just wonder if we are raising people up to be Christians who only know how to function when everything feels good and who only think God speaks to them through their feelings?
Have you ever been somewhere where God made his presence so known and there was no doubt, no questions, just God. I was at a conference a while ago and I heard a guy speak, he was funny and really knew how to get the crowd going. At the end of his talk he showed this video and narrated through it. It was a story about a man, but the realization was that the story being told was everyone’s story. I don’t think there was anyone in that room, Christian or not, who didn’t know that God was present in that room. I don’t think there was anyone in that room who didn’t realize that despite the crap in this world, the crap in their lives and any uncertainties they had, that God somehow loves them. It was one of those experiences where my heart and my mind met. I felt God’s presence and I knew it too. It wasn’t that guy on that stage; it was Jesus in the room. You can’t manipulate that.
Perhaps this is my own beef. These past few months have been kind of difficult. Things haven’t been like I thought they would and I’ve been discouraged and lonely and disappointed. I think I was disappointed that God wouldn’t give me a quick fix and make everything wonderful. I think I’ve started to realize that I have trouble functioning when things don’t feel good. I think I expect that God should make me feel good, like a puppet, He should act on my command. It’s quite ridiculous really. Perhaps it’s because I have grown up in the church and somehow come to think that if I don’t have the feel good experiences all the time then somehow God is mad or distant. Lies….Lies…..Lies. I hear it…..but I still can’t fully grasp it. I think I need time. I need time to teach myself this truth. Perhaps it’s a point of maturity…..when all of a sudden you realize that life is not a fairy tale and I was not created in order that God would serve me….it’s really vice versa. This is the point where my faith becomes more about truth and what I know rather than what I feel. Feelings do have a place but not the only place. Things even out. Perhaps the words in the bible are so profound and life giving and powerful that God would choose to speak to me through them and somehow it would fill me more than a feel good experience ever could because when you take away the feelings, what is left? I think it’s a good question, perhaps a good tool to get one to think more critically about things?
What is left?
I need to learn a new way.
This is going to be hard.