In conclusion to part 1, the one about why I shouldn’t date demons or want to run off and marry them in Vegas.
I press on.
A dear friend reminded me the other day how often faith looks like confusion and courage looks like fear. Who among us has ever faced a life-altering event with complete bravery? She said that in me she sees faith and courage. She says that when it comes down to it, I’ll do that which requires faith and courage. I wanted to call her a big, fat nasty liar but in the interest of at least trying to hear her out I responded…
“But it looks like a pile of crap doesn’t it?”
“But it’s NOT a pile of crap. It only looks that way to you. Faith is always messy!”
Faith and courage are never beautiful and polished at the time. The only thing that is polished about me y’all is my doggone hair. Whether we need the courage to face someone who is commiting evil against us or whether -like myself- we are needing to reject the demons that haunt us, we have to press on no matter how messy it looks, seems or feels to us or anyone else.
I am a self-proclaimed dirty, rotten, messy Christian. If I allow myself to believe I look and act like a pile of crap, my focus goes directly to that instead of the beautiful truth my friend laid down for me: real faith is always messy.
As we try to live out real faith in the midst of giant temptations we need to remember this basic truth:
You cannot choose your consequences.
I do not believe in karma. Karma is random. Random good things or random bad things happening to randomly chosen individuals by the random Universe. It could be an eye-for-an-eye or it could be a lot less fair than that, perhaps in your past life you were a jerk.
I mean no disrespect here, but I think the idea of Karma is quite ridiculous.
I believe God set the world in motion with rules and laws that govern and that He gave us the freedom to choose to follow them therefore human beings, animals and the earth itself experience the tremendous joys of all that is good and the deep and profound intensity of all that is bad. Everyone of us experiences these high-highs and low-lows no matter who you are or what you have done. It’s not exactly fair (though neither is Karma) but it’s also not random.
In the end, I’m glad God doesn’t give us exactly what we deserve. If He did, I think human beings would have been obliterated by now.
I mean, seriously, if God gave us what we deserve, what would I have? Who would I be?
I deserve the death penalty. I haven’t actually killed anyone, but I have wanted to. Oh my goodness, have I wanted to! I have killed people in my head, that’s fa sho!
My point is: while there is no random karma, and while God will allow us to experience the pain caused by our collective and individual actions he does not give us as we deserve.(He gave that to Jesus).
So, as I dined with the devil I realized how undeserving I am of my uber patient hubster or my children.
And if God gave me what I deserved for dining with my demons, I’d be in even worse shape right now than I all ready am.
And as I ralphed up my food on my dinner date, I realized anew the extent of the grace and mercy of God.
It is profound. Magical. Amazing. Peace-filled, forgiving, guilt-reducing, joy and gladness.
I am forgiven!
(Because of Jesus)
Situations are going to come up, we are going to be tempted, manipulated by others, lied to by social media, mistreated by jerks, victims of evil and pursuers of all types of evil because we are human beings.
We are all sort of, well, sick son-of-a-guns.
But I believe we can have the faith and courage to address these demons and our penchant for evil -with the help of the Lord- no matter how messy it looks. We can press on because we know there will be very real consequences for us and for those we love. (And perhaps, even for those we don’t know). We can go on -even if we fall- because God forgives us, loves us, restores us and invites our triflin’ butts back to him.
And when we dine with demons and feast with pigs he lifts up his gown and runs out to get us like the image of the Prodigal son returning back to his Father that Jesus spoke of so many years ago.
I pour out blood, sweat and tears begging God to make me whole again where my corrupt father commited the most indecent act of evil against me. For those actions, y’all I am reeling. I am wrestling demons. But, I refuse to be party to consequences of a similar nature being thrust upon my own children.
I press on.
(Won’t you too?)