I’ve been reflecting lately on what it means to be a Christian. More specifically, I’ve been trying to figure out if my life says that I’m a Christian.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had an encounter with Christ that I can barely begin to comprehend. If I hadn’t, there’s no way that I could be the semi-functional person I am today. I’m married, sober, attending University and I have an inkling as to what reality really is. I can honestly tell you that I would be all kinds of disastrous if God hadn’t shown up in my life about six years ago. I’d probably be strung out on crystal meth and wondering why the rave scene (ie my life) was so lame.
The past is something hard for me to reflect on. There’s a lot of pain there and a lot of unresolved issues that I’d rather not think about. I prefer looking forward to the future, but I don’t always know if it’s healthy for me. Why, you ask?
Because, for some reason, when I look to the future, I for some reason focus on what isn’t there now. I think about all of the ways in which life will be somehow richer and more alive with the presence of God. I try to think about all of the ways in which I will live up to all that I know about the way God’s kingdom works in my life and the world around me.
These are good dreams to have. My problem, as I alluded to, is that the natural progression for me is to move from those dreams and straight into castigating myself for their apparent lack in my present life. If I subjected anybody else to the criticism I continually level at myself, they would probably wither up and die in a gibbering fetal position.
This is, I guess, an uncharacteristically vulnerable post for such a public place as a blog. I remember thinking when I started this blog that it would be a journal that maybe some people would read, but I forget to just “be myself” sometimes. Well, here’s my neurotic self.
Perhaps some day I’ll be able to look at the past and be thankful for all that God did in my life rather than dwell on the pain that I’ve been subjected to. Maybe someday I’ll be able to dream big dreams for the future without condemning myself for not being completely alive to them today. Possibly someday I’ll be content today-while it’s called today-that God loves me more than I can bear and that He’s probably more accepting of who I am than I am of myself.
God, help those “somedays” come sooner rather than later. Amen.
6 responses to “Easier Said Than Done”
Bless you brother
Life can be oh so difficult, but you’ve come so far. When you feel dissatisfied, look at how you started before Jesus, and where you would be today without him. Look at where life was heading. Then look at your goals and see how far they are from where you were heading, and where you are now in relation to where you would have been. Your life is a bright witness to the saving grace of Christ. You are so alive, and everyone sees it. I wish you could have been spared most of the pain of your childhood, and I’m sure it’s no comfort to you to know how much I suffered with you. I prayed for you and as a result, you and Jesus found each other. I look at you and see a living miracle. Believe it! I love you Matt.
Thanks family. It’s not a good idea for me to be left alone with myself for too long…
I have read your blog a couple of times and feel I need to make a few comments. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior about 4 years ago. I too came from a life of severe drug abuse and when not drugs, alcohol. I accepted the Lord and would love to tell you I was delivered intantly, but that would be lying.
My life did change instantly however, I went from the dark to the light, from death to life. It wasn’t 10 days after I accepted the Lord that I realized my thoughts were different. I was looking forward to my future. I felt love for the first time in my life, the real love, the love of the Father. I knew God had a purpose for my and I was on my way to fufilling that purpose.
I also knew deep in my heart that when I asked for forgiveness God forgave me and threw my past in the sea of forgetfulness. Knowing that, I was able to throw my past in the sea of forgetfulness and carry on with my life purposing in my heart to serve God.
You say “the past is hard for me to reflect on” and yes it is but should you be reflecting on the past or leaving it in the past? God is certainly not reflecting on your past!
It is sometime scary to wonder what God has in store for us but remember He will never give you anything you can’t handle. Enter each situation in your life knowing God is with you and step out in faith. Even if you make a wrong move He will put you back on the right track.
Remember, you could not be the person you are today if you hadn’t been thru what you have been thru. Just think of all the lessons you have learned and that God’s grace and mercy were with you even then, to bring you to the place you are today.
Purpose in your heart to serve God today and forever and don’t concern yourself with what you haven’t achieved. Just know you are on the right track.
Hey there anonymous… I would have to agree with basically everything you say, but in some of my darker moments it seems somewhat cliche and trite.
But still, thanks for the encouragement.
It sounds like you have made phenomenal progress. Fight to remember where you have come from.
Also, I know what it’s like to be unforgiving and cruel to myself. (I would never treat others the way I’ve treated myself.) Find people you trust and who aren’t shiny happy people but honest, non-judgmental, and loving, and have them keep you accountable. You deserve it.
God bless you