Monday, April 22, 2013
A Faith Reviewed
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
I don't feel very born again. I was going strong there for a while, and the presence of God in my life, in my mind, in myself was a constant source of energy for me. But lately, there has been this very noticeable lull in my energy and enthusiasm for God.
This has waxed and waned for a month or two now. At first, it was just for a day or so, and then I would be reinvigorated by some passage or experience or sermon - something would happen to pull me from the funk I was in. And then it became more extended. I would be distracted during service, unable to concentrate or absorb the message. It was frustrating because no matter how much I tried to keep my mind on God, I would always wander off into my own little thought-world. Someone could cough in the back of the sanctuary, and I would start scrolling through my mental rolodex of "things associated with this cough." It would go something like this:
<cough cough cough>
My Brain: Hmmm...sounds like someone is getting sick. I wonder who it is. I hope we don't all get sick. Everyone was getting sick around Christmas. That one guy would only give fist bumps. I wonder why fist bumps got started. Surely not to keep disease from spreading. Hmmm...if they had known to fist bump in the Middle Ages, would the Plague have spread so aggressively? It's funny to think about a virus being aggressive, like "Ha! Puny humans! I will bring you to your knees with phlegm and fevers!!!" Knees..my knees hurt. This pew is uncomfortable. I need more leg room. I don't even have long legs. I have short legs - how do all these tall guys sit here without squirming? Squirm. That's a fun word. Not as fun as "loquacious." Kids never know what that means. Loqua = to talk. I'm such a nerd. Nerds would be tasty...I'm hungry.
And from there it would continue. Every once in a while, I would stop my inner-voice and remind it to be quiet and let my brain focus on the message or the prayer, but inevitably, someone would sneeze or the air conditioning would turn on, or I'd find a literary device in the passage we were studying and it would all fall apart.
Now, I don't know. It's begun to feel academic...bloodless. I still have moments - I had a huge moment last Sunday - but it seems like, unless I am in the sanctuary actively worshipping, I'm just back to "normal." And I don't want to be normal. I don't like this normal self. I like who I was becoming, but it feels like I've stalled out on a very big hill and I'm holding the brake on for dear life.
I thought that receiving God's grace of salvation would change me - would make me a "new creation." And it had...but now that seems fleeting, and with it, I have been constantly reviewing the depth of my faith. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." I hope that I am saved, but I am feeling less and less assured of it. And couple this with the constant reduction in my feelings of conviction, I have to wonder: Am I losing my faith?
So, I need your prayers, though only God can pull me from this. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone, but in the absence of my own strength of conviction, I am hoping God will accept yours on my behalf and renew my faith again.