Monday, June 30, 2008

no guilt in life, no fear in death

this blog is going to be a very incomplete thought (as is 98.3% of all my writing). many times my thoughts begin and never quite develop. very stream of consciousness and incredibly unorganized.

i was sitting in church yesterday and i realized how differently i see the Lord than i used to. i am struck by the Lord's ability to change my perspective and his ability to give me a new heart when it comes to Him. i feel like i say this all the time, but it is that amazing to me.

for years and years i saw the Lord only in the light of "if I die tonight, will i go to heaven?". what am i doing in my life that maybe i shouldn't be, that might cause God to look upon me in a lesser light? i should probably go throw away all of my secular cds or not watch a movie that even has the word 'damn' in it.

God was about pressure and performance. i know this is something that is common in the church, but i really don't care if this was every single person's story, because to me, it still seems miraculous.

i remember knowing as a child that i should love the Lord, and i remember praying to Him as young as 10 just begging Him to show me how to love Him and how to understand a little more about who His son is. in order to have even a speck of love for Jesus i would really have to concentrate on his death on the cross and then i'd be like, "okay, i guess i really need to love Him because, ya know, his beard got ripped out and stuff".

many times in my adolescence my only motivation to continue to pursue the Lord was to ensure that my life would "turn out okay" and that i wouldn't do __________ (fill in the blank with whatever silly taboo thing you desire). my decisions to abstain from certain activities had nothing to do with a love for the Lord, but everything to do with a fear of judgment from other christians, and a fear of making a wrong choice, and then dying in a car accident that night, and going straight to hell.

in the physical sense, this year (actually the last several) has been very taxing. having thought this way about the Lord for most of my life, i began to be really angry, and then looked at myself in the way that i assumed the Lord must. but as i began to seek something different, and come to place of full understanding that my life wasn't turning out okay, and not necessarily by avoiding "taboo" things, but by not seeing the Lord for who He is, and for not allowing Him to love me in such a way that i was challenged to seek Him and let these other distractions fall to the wayside as a result of my pursuit of Him. not because of responsibility, but because of an obsession with the full, vibrant, and bold life that He has called us to.

sitting in church yesterday, was one of the first times ever that i talked about the book of revelation and wasn't nervous or uncomfortable. we talked about Heaven and Hell, and i didn't think about "the rapture" or "end times" or "judgment day" (not that these discussions don't have their place).

i thought about being able to sit with Jesus, and it wasn't scary.

and no matter what, that change from fear of Hell to living a life of vibrance and freedom before the Lord, will be the greatest miracle of my life.

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