If I didn’t have to

You know that weird feeling where you see a famous person in real life? Where you catch a glimpse of some athlete at Starbucks or Ted Nugent at the frozen yogurt place? You feel weird…they’re out in the open, right in front of all the normal stuff like frozen yogurt machines or straws….and it’s cool, but…it’s a big let down because they aren’t what you imagined? Or you meet a great author and they’re rude to you (happened to pre-teen me)? The coolness is gone—the loftiness is brought down. They’re just like you and that’s…bad? They’ve…fallen?

The other day I listened to an interview with another Christian singer who has announced he’s quit the faith. He couldn’t have been more polite, but he described being a worship leader for a long time and how his doubts about God crept in, but he couldn’t address them because singing about Jesus was his livelihood. So he said this…”if I didn’t HAVE to believe in God, would I?” It’s so disheartening—I feel such a deep sadness when I hear about one of these guys, talking about standing at the microphone in front of a mega church and feeling conflicted. He knows how people like me will feel—like he’s fallen from his exalted place.

It stuck with me, and I asked myself the same question…if I didn’t teach Christian school, if I wasn’t married to a theologian, if my family hadn’t raised me a Christian, if…

And I felt like God was sort of standing in the corner, and I finally noticed Him.

My father told me, when I was in college, “Lindsay, there’s no religion—there’s one Jesus, and you either follow Him or you dont.” But long before that, when I was a 7-year-old working out my salvation with fear and trembling in the middle of the night, he told me this… “God isn’t afraid of your questions.”

The current crisis has led me into a lot of uncomfortable prayers, but I hope I keep asking God questions. And I don’t expect an answer, I just want… I don’t know what I want from Him. I guess I just want to be brave. Like other Christians were, when bombs were falling or Nazis were marching down the streets, or crops were drying up or doctors were out of options.

This blog started out so fun…highway driving and cookie baking and sewing Bobby McEgg back together. Now I bare my teeth and merge onto I35 nearly every morning. During quarantine I didn’t bake sourdough bread like everybody else, but I upped my cookie and biscuit game. Adulthood is so much less fun than it used to be—risks, guys, Risks everywhere. And the risk that our faith will suffer when things get hard…look, if other people fall away, who do I think I am?

So give us this day our daily bread, I guess…it really has become a day-by-day thing since this started in March, and we all had to count our days until we could “get back to normal”.

Andrew, if you’re older and you’re reading this, I want you to know that it’s ok to ask God questions like “why is this happening?” and “when will this be over?” Not because you’ll get an answer immediately, but because this inevitably leads to other questions. And God is not a stressed-out mom who doesn’t have time to talk about Charlie Brown and Snoopy—He isn’t afraid of your questions.

Eat your bread, team.

3 Comments

  1. Greg Dennison

    I’ve recently written about two big moments in my faith journey (the 1/26/96 and 2/15/96 episodes of my blog). That has gotten me thinking about how many people I knew back then aren’t practicing their faith anymore. It’s sad, but that’s their life and I can’t make them change. I think also I tend to forget that I was essentially led to Christ by people in their teens and 20s, and while I looked up to them as strong and mature Christians, they weren’t necessarily.

    Like

      1. Greg Dennison

        Very true. I don’t think I fully appreciated that part of human nature when I was 19.

        On a related note, I figured out eventually that human beings were fallible, even church leaders… I remember years ago, it would have been 2010 or 2011, telling someone I was dating and/or interested in at the time (“Acrux” from my old blog) about some of the problems I had with an overly legalistic church and then another church where the pastor made horrible false accusations against me. She said that she was surprised that I was still going to church, because a lot of people would have left the faith after being through what I went through. I thought about that, and I said, that’s true, but I knew that my issue was never directly with Jesus or the Bible, it was with human beings misinterpreting the Bible.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s