Category Archives: Faith & Spiritual Drift

D.Faults

My lovely wife asked if she could read some of my post drafts earlier this week and, of course, I said yes. And so, I’ve been waiting over the last couple of days for any kind of feedback, wondering how she would take my feeble attempts at humor and meager exercises in pithiness. This morning the clouds parted, the sun shone through, and my wife says, “I read some of your posts yesterday . . .”

“. . . you don’t seem very happy.”

Wha . . uh, huh??

Ummm, okay.

“Your humor’s lame.” That I could’ve handled.

“You’re not as deep as you think you are.” That would’ve been okay, too.

Even, “your writing sucks,” wouldn’t have been surprising.

But, “You don’t seem very happy.”? Not what I was expecting.

So I read them again for myself; trying to read them through her eyes. There’s not a lot, I’m not that prolific. But I read them all, and you know what?

She’s right.

What I thought were witty attempts at humor with just a touch of weary cynicism were at times biting; bordering on annoyance and anger more often than I wanted to admit. What was going on?  What was I thinking?  Why am I doing this? Is it to provide a living, breathing document of my struggles and hopefully, eventual reconciliation between my public-oriented job and my chosen faith—as I’d always envisioned it to be? Or is my subconscious simply trying to exorcise my inner resentment and cynical, jaded demons?

My original desire in writing was to point up the nerve-wracking, wearisome, often frustrating world that we—the ones who have chosen customer service as our bread and butter—live and sometimes even thrive in; interweaving my struggle to come to terms with, and even have a cohesive relationship, between my work and my faith. But, reading through my as-yet-unposted drafts, you might start to believe that I truly do think the worst of people. That my opinion would be that if given the choice of right and wrong, good and evil, noble and self-serving, we as a species would bend to the self-serving, evil and “wrong”. Because, in my opinion and as some people would say, “it’s the way we’re wired.” Or, as I like to say, it’s our default. And thinking of people in this way is apparently MY default.

Ugh. What a wonderful way to go through life. Especially when you don’t know it.  Yet when it’s pointed out to you it’s so blatantly obvious you can’t help but go, “oh, crap. Yeah.”

So . . . “You don’t seem very happy.”

No, I don’t.

And I’m glad she’s pointed this out. I’m glad that, what I thought were passable attempts at witticism—attempts to make other people happy—only pointed up the lack of joy and happiness in my own life . . . pointed up by the one closest to me. And I guess she should know.

And that makes me happy.

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A Long Walk on a Winding Path

My walk along the spiritual path has been long, winding, often diverted and on occasion, totally washed-out. I sometimes get those feelings of cynicism or self-doubt; that I’m a rather poor example of what one would consider a “person of faith”; especially by others that consider themselves “persons of faith”. Not necessarily one to be placed on the lofty wall of the great spiritually enlightened or held in reverence when speaking of those in the pantheon of righteousness.

“Yes, there was Moses of course, and Abraham, Joseph and that fellow Paul was quite smashing as well, but have you seen THIS gentleman! What flawless grace! What profound wisdom! What boundless patience! And such restraint and self-control!”

Mmmm, no.

But, as Lily Burana put it, as written in a 2010 blog post:

 “After all, the self-satisfied and self-righteous have come for me, too: YOU, a Christian? With those politics? With that past? . . . I knew they’d show up, those stingy, uncharitable moral goalkeepers, with their underlined passages in Leviticus and their pointy-finger God. It just ain’t a Jesus party without this particular turd in the spiritual punchbowl. Maybe it’s the believer’s rite of passage — until you’ve encountered this type and had them declare a fundamental component of your identity an “abomination,” you kind of haven’t lived. The challenge is to have your faith tested this way and not blink.”

Or, as Stacie Orrico sings:

“Don’t look at me, look at Him.”

I’m what you would call . . . human. Look around. On the street, in your neighborhood, on the pew next to you; we’re everywhere. There’s a lot more of us than you’d think. 
As many of you know, I’ve left the wild jungles of retail customer service, having been called on the carpet by Francis Chan in his excellent book, “Crazy Love” then seeming to have every single passage in the Bible that I read in some way relate to my life circumstances at the time. (Funny how that works!)  Recently, I was told by someone in our home group what an inspiration my wife and I were to all of them by stepping out on faith like we have.  After all, when I decided to give my notice at work, I had nothing to go to, no back up plan, nothing but the hope and faith that the steps we were taking were the steps God was asking us to take.  We had no idea where we were going just that we were being asked (told) to go.

I don’t feel like an inspiration!  I think my response was, “I don’t know about that, ‘cuz I have no idea what the hell I’m doing!”

Maybe though, that’s the point.  Maybe God is sitting up there going, “Yeah, but I do!”

I hope so.  After all, that’s what faith is all about.  And if that’s an inspiration, that’s okay with me . . . because it certainly isn’t me that’s drivin’ this bus!

“You ‘n me, God! You ‘n me!”