"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I Gotta Be Me...and not you!

“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.” (Psalms 139:1-4)

Welcome back to another round of my musings and journeys. After the season of Lent and not facing a daily deadline of having to put experiences into words and send them out, I felt the great need to escape from the stare of my blank laptop screen. That taunting screen. It was enjoyable to not have to think so much about what I could share with you and to concentrate on reading and writing for fun. However, after a few weeks, I began to notice something disturbing. The things I learned during my 40-day walk were beginning to fade away and the joy I experienced during those days leading to Easter began to wane (see, I do know some literate words after all). The accountability you gave me was missing from my daily life. The anticipation of what words would come out of my heart and fingers was missing. In short, I missed you and was missing God. If you missed the Lent journals, please catch them on my website www.beinggods.blogspot.com.
Now, we travel on. Part of my nature is to be very hard on myself. My therapist has told me that I have a hard time living up to my own expectations of myself and that leads to, well, quite a muddle at times. This even flows over to my Christian walk. I see Christians who seem so “comfortably Christian” and have it all together with Jesus, and then I look inside myself and feel all doubtful and not so together with Jesus and not like “them,” so that the aforementioned muddle begins. I consider myself a very practical Christian. Love. God. Love. Others. Love. Family. Love. Neighbors. I feel fairly intelligent in theological realms; after all I do have a Master’s in All Things Theological for pity’s sake (giggle). But, I feel so led to be a friend to those around me in the world and community first, saving the Jesus talk for after the relationship is built, that I feel inadequate against so many of the hard-hitting go-getters in the Christian world. I get down. Low. Down. Discouraged.
And then, tonight, God decided to speak to me. You know, He must surely get tired of trying to teach me the same old things over and over, but God is faithful and is very patient with dolts like me. Hmmm, a good book title….Dolts Like Me. But, I digress. The Monday Night Supper Club was meeting for a BBQ supper at Shane’s Rib Shack and I got there a bit early. As I waited for the others, I saw an old friend from years gone by enter the restaurant. It’s always good to see Mike because he’s probably one of the coolest men I know and his testimony is mega-encouraging. Mike struggled with tough choices as a teenager and young man and then found out he had cancer at the age of 26. Thanks to God and the skills of the medical community, Mike is now cured and has found Jesus in a real and personal way. His eyes are bright, his smile is infectious, he still has all his hair (which irks me), and is just a guy that makes you feel good when you are around him. And that’s a good thing. That’s how I want to be, God….like Mike (except for the cancer and bad choices part). Why can’t I have a cool testimony about your work in my life? Later, God brought the above verse to mind and I remembered that He made me just as I am….bruises and all. I can’t be the Super-Christian that Mr. Evangelism Pastor is because that isn’t how God made me. I share God in my way, in my time, in my style and that’s all God expects. Mike shares a fantastic testimony from his experiences just as I share God through mine and you do in yours.
I guess my thoughts tonight would be to not try and be what you think a Christian should be. Be the Christian you simply are. That’s what God wants. You. Simply You.

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


At 1:55 PM, Blogger scatterbrained said...

Sounds like you have the low down on the down lows. Been there, done that and repeated the process way too many times.

God is using your every day life to encourage individuals like me. Every once in awhile the christian comparison game wants to wreck havoc in my life. Thankfully, my prayer partners are right there to speak truth to me.

It took me a long time to like myself and to let others like me too. One of my counseling assignments was to look at myself in the mirror and tell my 8 year old self that I did nothing wrong, that it was not my fault.

Now, I can look in the mirror and tell myself, "I like you just the way you are." (line stolen from Bridget Jones Diary).

Thank you for blessing my life with your words.


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