Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kicking and Screaming

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

God has a funny sense of humor.  Well, I guess that kind of goes without saying...  If you think of us as created in God's image... and we have some pretty good comedians... then God must be a pretty good comedian.  This Christianity thing, though, oh-my-goodness-is-it-ever-so-serious sometimes.  And it doesn't have to be.  I think God likes to laugh.  I think we'd better learn to laugh with him because he certainly laughs with some of our antics.  We might as well enjoy the fun.... 

Yes, I believe.  Yes, I try to obey - operative word is try...  Yes, I believe I am being changed, grown, cultivated, into a stronger, better, more Christ-like person.  And yes, I do it willingly. 

But it wasn't always that way.  Once upon awhile ago, even after a blessed childhood in a good, Christian home, I left the faith.  I denied God and in the process I denied Jesus.  It hurts to even write about it - so, no - this isn't the funny part.  Yet.  After a good decade of nothing very important, I decided I was going to look into the Christianity thing again;  I decided it was time to find out what the faith club was all about; I finally decided it was time to fill that God-shaped hole in my being.  It's easier to write it in shorthand than to go through all the reasons - because the story isn't in the decision itself.  The story is in the process.  Read:  My Journey Toward the Christian Lifeby Janet.

God literally pulled me into Christian living kicking and screaming.  First, I went to the classes.  They met once a week at the local church I had sporadically attended.  I liked the music and some of my friends went there.  The very first class convinced me that my oh-so-logical viewpoint of Christ was wrong.  He was, in fact, not only a good man (which I knew by his actions), but he was the Son of God (which he told everyone who would listen).  He was really the Son of God because, a. he wasn't crazy-deluded, and b. he wasn't an evil villain out to pull a world-changing charade.  He was who he said he was which meant my carefully-crafted theology of non-belief was wrong.  Dead wrong.  If he was the Son of God, than there was a God.  Uh-oh.  I was in trouble!

Yes, you can start to chuckle at the frantic scrambling.  Of course I was now obligated to attend every single one of those classes.  The ones that explain the whys and wherefores of Christianity.   Kicking and screaming.  I had to make room in my schedule of teaching and a second job in order to attend.  I had to stay up later than my normal bedtime (losing beauty sleep...).

Then I was told that reading Scripture was part of the Christian life.  Huh?  I have to attend classes, and now I have to read the bible?  Oh, and by the way, we should really read Scripture daily.  Every day!  Daily as in every day??  So, hang on, I have to keep up with my family and work, go to these weekly religion classes, AND read my bible every day?

Scramble scramble.

Next, came the praying part.  Of course daily-every-day.  And no, reading the scripture is not praying, and praying is not reading the scripture, and even though you're doing both during class once a week, you really need to be praying and reading God's word daily.  At least daily.  Maybe even more than once a day.  Someone snuck in a more-than-once-a-day when I wasn't looking!  Because I was so busy trying to be a good Christian...

Scramble scramble.

I actually started to complain in the classes when they brought up journaling.  Kicking and screaming - it was the last straw.  Either the leaders of my small group thought I was totally nuts and were placating my schizoid behavior, or they'd seen it all before and knew I'd eventually come around.  They calmly went on with the discussion.  Kind of like ignoring the tantrum of a two-year old.  Even my husband was keeping his distance from this crazy wife who was trying to fit a new life into an old one; I was trying to stick a square peg into a round hole.  God was up in heaven just cracking up.

Scramble scramble.

Have you figured it out?  What was so funny?  Why God was laughing?  Here's where we are:  Weekly classes, plus I started to sing in the choir, so a service and a half on Sunday, reading the bible daily, praying - a LOT, keeping a prayer journal to track asked-for prayers, and answered prayers, and yes, even taking notes on my scripture reading - drawing diagrams and organizing tables - comparing and contrasting.

Scramble scramble.

God, am I doing ok, yet?  Do you love me yet?  And the whole time, the Holy Spirit was in me, working His magic.  Transforming.  Square peg slowly rounding up...Certain words and verses started to stick out in my reading.  Forgiveness, grace, unearned.  Undeserved.  Me.

Yet...yet... Do you hear him?  God laughing?   Not at me, never at me.  With me.  All that scrambling, all that kicking and screaming - trying to deserve, to earn - when all I had to do was accept.  Yes.  God chuckling now, it was a good I get it.  Somewhere I had missed the point.  Not through works, but by His grace.  Thank God for grace!  He wants us to walk with him, to talk with him.  How else but through His Word?  (Oh!  the bible AND the Son!  See how the holy spirit works...)  How else but through conversation in prayer?  It's not a scramble scramble thing.  It's not a kicking and screaming thing.  It's an open-your-heart-and-learn-the-language thing.  It's not work - it's I want to.  Because I know I can't live without Him, not one day, not one hour, not one second longer than I did when I denied him.  And He already forgave me for that.  He just wants me to be wholly His.  And sometimes, we just have to laugh together at how He made it happen.

Heavenly Father, thank you for all the silly kicking and screaming; thank you for the memories of my scramble-scramble to be yours when all I ever had to do was accept You.  You.  Are.  Wonderful. 
 Help me to walk humbly with you. 
I love you.

God has graciously placed me in a full-time position at a school as a long-term sub for a woman who is battling a life-changing, life-threatening illness.  Except for the fact that my writing time has dwindled down to nothing, it is a good fit.  I pulled this from the archives - wanted to share.  I miss my blogging community.

This week I'm linking with Beth at Three Word Wednesday, and Emily at Imperfect Prose.


  1. I chuckled:) because it's true:) and I see it happening with people around me as well and I want to say "give it up! He already loves you!" God does have a sense of humor- thank you for this light and deeply honest post!

    1. Yup - I had to give it up for God - that should definitely be a slogan somewhere! I'm glad you visited, thanks for the feedback. Have a wonderful week. Janet

  2. You really are a delight! I loved this. I got all warm and fuzzy thinking about God just laughing with us. We do complicate it don't we? I'm so guilty of still thinking I'm not doing enough and then He has this way of nudging me to remind me it's not about the doing but the simply being with Him. From someone relatively new to your site...keep pulling from those archives...they are new to me and I so enjoy getting to know you better. Blessings to you friend.

    1. :) Thanks, Beth I still smile thinking about those classes - fellowship, right? God knows.


I know we probably haven't met in person, but I believe that the sharing of our ideas and thoughts, sometimes our hearts and souls, makes us more than strangers. I would like to say friends. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to my little space - I appreciate you.