Thursday, February 24, 2005

You Are Here

When I was in undergrad school, my teacher told us a story about how she wrote the day she got saved on the front page of her Bible. She said she later crossed that date out, and wrote another, which indicated the day she really got saved. Then she had to do it again, and again. And who knows what revelation she had that's keeping her from still doing it.

Backsliding is a little complicated, isn't it? Are you backslidden if for a season you don't go to church, or don't pray, or don't read your Bible like you're Kay Arthur herself? Are you backslidden when your brain chemistry is a little scrambled, and you feel things you don't understand until the meds kick in? What about when you feel like you're going to kill your teenager?

Once I threw a rocking chair--a whole adult sized rocker, at my husband who'd said something less than flattering to me. I felt badly about it as soon as my rage subsided (many hours later), and I talked to the Lord about it. Was I backslidden? Surely Christian women don't throw furniture at their loved ones. It wasn't a great time in my life, kinda like right now. I had a lot of questions about the state of my spiritual life, and very few concrete answers. I don't really know if I was backslidden. I only know that almost everything hurt, like now.

I'm finding it's not real profitable for me to do what amounts to a lot of spiritual navel gazing. Wherever I am, there I am. Grace seems to follow me now, and it's bigger than the condemnation and guilt that dogged my heels in former days. I'm not crossing out the date that I got "saved" and filling in another. It seems more now, at 40, that I'm on one seemless journey that begin before the foundation of the world, and continues, throughout eternity. I'm in God's story, and He most certainly is in mine, and I can no more comprehend the story's 'real' beginning, anymore than I can comprehend God Himeself.

Nowadays, I hear God whisper in me, "You are here," and He is there, in the midst of my 'here', because He promised never to leave us or forsake us.

That's all I know.

That's enough to take a step of faith, and walk with God.


poetpete said...

Gday Rags,

I just love this post, it really cuts through the systemised crap dished up to the unrealistic and gullible, about a neat tidy faith-life that is so easily defined and organised.

Being one who is a bit whacked in the head I too struggle daily with with keeping an appropriate 'faith sanity' (who knows what to call it?) amid the non-concrete concretions of brain chemisty. And that doesn't include the destructive nature of well-meaning and also the not so well-intentioned other people in relationship with me in whatever circumstance. I don't throw chairs, though, as I have a bung shoulder.

Your idea about a seemless journey is an encouraging and affirming thought, as is the "here" & "there ... in my here" truth.

I have posted

which, I believe, reflects my initial faith confession when 11 years old, and the continuing faith-walk amid frailty and weakness. You may be interested.

His blessings for you and yours,

bobbie said...

furniture has flown in my home too... not my proudest days. thanks for your honesty diva woman!

great post!

markwashere said...

(1) spiritual navel gazing. i'm so gonna use that. you rock.

(2) and speaking of rocking... :).


P.S. loved your post's title.

osray said...

Hang in there Raga... Just think... If you were "locked in" to one of those religions that would "burn" you in hell. "Yea tho you walk through the valley of the shadow of death.... He is with you all the way girl. He's had you so long... you can't shake him. Prayers and peace to you.

daisymarie said...

no rocking chairs have flown, but a few cupboard doors have been slammed a little harder than they should have been...resulting in broken cups...oops.

You are reminds of a poster i used to have of Ziggy. i love the idea of God speaking and gently identifying where i am and providing grace for the steps that are to come.

thank you for this!!!!!

spiritual ingenue said...

I used to belong to a denomination that believed if you backslid, you were set apart from God and therefore destined for hell. I felt like I was always doing a spiritual 180; headed either north or south depending on my most recent behavior. It was stressful, to say the least!

What a freeing realization that "here" is exactly where we're supposed to be.

Blessings to you.