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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Friday, June 15, 2007

running in place

Been awhile since my last post. I guess those natural ebb and flows happen where what to write just doesnt flow. I had a tough day today i just had a very genuine impression that life is so fragile and i could be gone instantly like the blades of grass here one second gone the next. I dont want to go meet God in a state of unpreparedness yet it seems i am that way so often. I dont understand how or why i am in the place im in. When I first began following Christ things seemed so matter of fact and pretty simple to comprehend. I had my issues that I struggled with as we all do but was able to deal with them in some way and pretty much carry on as life called me to. I began wanting to seek after Him with my whole being. I used to have regular time of personal Bible study and prayer and o yes they afre the oxygen and fuel of our spirits so true indeed. Somehow slowly and gradually i got away from the disciplines of personal bible study and prayer i know at times shame over sin was the root but laziness took its toll as well and then just the busyness and commotion of life. Now i find myself experiencing serious health issues which cause me to have to face my fears about death in real serious ways.

I had an atheist guy who used to work with me at my job. He emails me from time to time and usually rips me apart for being a conservative republican as well as a bad christian. I tried to be a good witness to him but i know i failled many times. He would make personal attacks against me over things that were sensitive to me like my apperance and weight. I did not give him the best witness because i let my frustations get the better of me and often i would just ignore him or get in an argument though i sought to rectify things after everytime . Why is the gap between what I see Jesus and the Father calling me to and challenging me to reach for so vastly different from the actual reality of life as im living it??? I dont purposely seek to be riddled with fear or caught inside my own mind and accusations of guilt and shame which are like 2 swords jabbingat me from all sides on a nonstop basis. i can see and apply His grace love forgiveness and hope so well in encouraging others but can never seem to do the same for myself. I hope this isnt sounding like a broken record it just is reflecting where i am at internally right now. Wanting to grow and achieve what i see His Word telling to be and finding myself mired in the quicksand unable to find my way to get to that place. Are some of you in the same boat??? Do you experience a shock to your system over seeing where you want to be and then also where you really are???? i hope many of you will stop by and comment My page has been very lonely last 2 months comments are always a very good medicine!!! Hope to hear from any who so choose to share!!!!


At 1:34 PM, Blogger bjk said...

Yes and yes and yes and pretty much just mad right now.....

who do you allow into your internal world??

At 6:58 AM, Blogger karen said...

Consider yourself hugged with a big mama bear hug right now!
Yes, we've all been there. I have a neighbor who just slides under my fingernails like a torture! It is the ungodly folk who do this to us. Your atheist co-worker has no belief other than to try to break down the belief systems of others. Pity him and try to move on. It's hard, though, because we are our own harshest critics! Remember, though...YOU ARE JESUS' OWN CHILD! He loves you, and he loves that wicked ;-) atheist fellow, too. LOL...wicked. What a cool word.
He loves it that you think about what you do, but not that you condemn yourself for your perceived shortcomings. He died on the cross so that you could walk in grace and forgiveness! He forgives all of your transgressions, so let them go and start walking in His light. Be who He made you to be: a kind, sensitive, thoughtful man. Look outward at what your gifts are and what they can do for Him in the Kingdom. You're a good person, and you are His.
Blessings and love to you, Robert.

At 5:30 PM, Blogger Gary Means said...

Hey bro,
As you know, I have certainly spent a lot of time in the guilt and shame boat. But less so lately. I wish I could identify precisely what has changed in the past few years. I think it's because I have more and more exposed myself to those with a generous faith, even when I don't always certain components of their theology. That's part of it, but it's also that I have been just too emotionally exhausted to fight. I think I've come to the point of saying, "ok, yes I am a pitiful excuse for a Christian. My faith is in disarray. My witness is nonexistent or inconsistent. I treat my body terribly. I am obese. I have little personal discipline. But there's still part of me, at a visceral level, that believes that God actually does love me anyway, despite all those things."

I may have talked about a certain practice that has helped. It's using painful memories to reinforce a message of God's grace. All of my life I have been haunted by painful memories. They always center around times where I feel shame when I experience the memory. I may not even have felt shame at the time of the initial experience, but years later I recognized how wrong my decisions had been.

Years ago, I would inadvertently wake my wife by swearing at myself in the shower. I got up a couple hours before her, and she did not appreciate being awakened, much less in that manner. I haven't done that in years though.

However, I still experience those twinges of emotional pain as memories are triggered during the day. Often these elicit some sort of vocalization, often profanity. Sorry, I didn't come to faith until I was 24 and I had developed quite the potty mouth by then.

So when I hear myself "signal myself" that I am remembering a time of personal failure or humilitation, I stop, try to fully remember the incident, and then tell myself, "God loved me even then. Even when I did that." And then I go on with my day. It's sort of like reclaiming the territory, or redeeming the pain and using it to reinforce a message of grace.

So, serious health issues? Send me an email. I'll give you a call sometime soonish. Not sure when, but I do have your phone number sitting here.


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