I’ve traveled a lot. I find that if a place is truly enjoyable, I’ll end up enjoying it without its residents giving it lip-service. All the hype Texans make about Texas is really off-putting. Tone it down a bit, huh?
They say that “everything is bigger in Texas,” but the only thing I find to be considerably large about the Lone Star State is the Texan ego.
It’s funny how Christians today often live life on a policy of abstention. If someone were to ask, “hey, what’s Christianity about?”, someone might answer, “well we don’t drink, we don’t smoke, we don’t have sex before marriage, we don’t do drugs, we don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t kill…” and the list goes on. Why wouldn’t we answer that questions with things that we do? I think maybe it’s because the average American Christian doesn’t do much of anything. We base our lives on avoiding what we “shouldn’t do” but we don’t put much effort into doing what we should. Loving God, loving our neighbors, clothing the naked, pleading the case of the widow, helping the poor; these are all things that Christians should actively do.
This isn’t to say that fleeing sin is pointless. Not at all. But the point isn’t to avoid sinning so much as it is to love God and be in communion with Him. I sin every day, and I don’t like it, but I do. But the problem isn’t the things I do; the problem is that I don’t love God with my whole heart, and I’m not choosing to walk closely with him. That’s the real sin.
I am the prodigal son. I wander, I stumble, I fall, but I come home. I’ve heard it said that there are only two ways to walk the path of life: you’re either walking away from God, or you’re walking towards him. And I choose the latter.
Honestly it’s been really difficult for me to spend regular time with God, and when I do, I often feel like I’m just talking to myself. That’s part of why I want to travel: I feel like the old routine and habits of being home are naturally taking me over and pushing God out. And I know that it’s nobody’s fault but my own, yet I still don’t know how to fix it.
So often He feels so far away, and yet I feel trapped at home such that I can’t go and find Him. I am, as it were, a prisoner of my own devices. I want to break the cage but I don’t know how. It feels as though I am a slave to many things, but God is not one of them. And ultimately, that makes me feel incredibly alone. How do I find God in my daily life? How do you? It feels like I’m back-sliding, the very thing I swore to avoid on re-entry. It was so easy to spend time with God overseas on the missions trip, but now I have trouble applying what I learned.
I continue to search for Jesus.
- (Adapted from a letter to a friend.)
I told myself I won’t miss you,
But I remember
What it feels like beside you.
I really miss your hair in my face,
And the way your innocence tastes.
And I think you should know this:
You deserve much better than me.