I trusted Christ as my savior at the age of fifteen. Even then, there was something about the Christian church environment that made me feel like I was left out of some secret private meeting. There had to be a place where everybody was learning how to talk — whether they were greeting someone, responding during the preacher’s sermon, or using quotes that seemed to be out of some starter manual for new beginner Christians. This meeting I never attended must’ve taught everyone how to do certain “holy ghost filled” dances during the fast beat of church music, and even what faces to make if you heard or felt something that was philosophically weighty… something that showed that the world would never be the same after that incredible revelation from the third heavens.
I didn’t know how to do any of that.
I didn’t always feel like quoting a favorite author from a book in the Bible, and I didn’t understand why everyone at times seemed so perfect and super weirdly happy. I sometimes questioned if God was even real. Was His Word even true? I seemed more like a heretic than a part of the “Christian Club.” Throughout the years of being on a journey, at times I’ve felt deep levels of fear and confusion, while standing at coffins of little kids killed by random unnecessary acts of violence, while evil people walked away to live another day. I’ve had days and nights filled with fear about my future. I’ve wondered why God is so quiet at times while his accusers and skeptics become louder and louder in the world.
Through many days, weeks, and months of seeing Him come through in indescribable ways, I have found that it’s not my spiritual acrobatics or the newest churchy phrase that gets the church excited during the rise of the church organ and fast tempo drums. It’s the yanking and pulling and doubting and running and chasing and falling and questioning and crying and dancing and listening that’s important.
I have fallen in love with the lover of the universe; not the subculture of Christianity.
And that’s ok.
See, many of you know what I mean. You don’t feel like you fit in to the experience of Christianity: how you dress, respond, worship, praise, talk, or even live. You may even be made to feel “less than” – by other Christians, your family, or yourself. Well I’m here to make you smile!
See, family, who you are publicly will only be as strong as who you are privately. You can either be “churchy” or you can be a “chaser.” That’s what David was in Psalms 42. As the deer was thirsty for water, David was dehydrated for God. He was so thirsty for him that he made it his life’s goal to chase God until that thirst was satisfied. You can go to church seven days a week, dress in all white, and quote every verse in Nahum (which would be kinda weird) but none of that makes you a chaser.
You may be at a place in your life where you’re ready to walk away form believing, you may question the authenticity of the ancient text, think the story of God is “stuff of legend,” and be so hurt that believing is too painful to even try. Friend, whether or not you believe in Him, He believes in you. And if you don’t fit in with the church crowd, don’t know any Bible verses, are on your way to jail, just got out of jail, are tatted from your neck to your feet, have your nose pierced, or haven’t been to church since your homey got killed, you’re ok.
Man is not the standard, God is.