Being lost is one of the most frustrating feelings I’ve ever encountered. Going round and round in what seems like neverending circles the world looks like a Kalaeidoscope, a mash up of colours that don’t really make sense. As an avid Manchester United fan gracing the M6 on a saturday morning to go watch my team play is a joy that I can’t explain, as fields drift pass my window endlessly the thought of sitting in the theatre of dreams again builds up the excitement within my soul. It was on one of these journeys that we reached the Kalaidoscope scenes that I previously mentioned. We were lost. After going past the same pub for the fifth time in quick succession the frustration of all was clear, groans rattled through the coach like an infectious virus, wiping away any hope of getting to the game on time. It seemed that hope was fading.
To compare that experience to the life of a disciple of Christ is of course a trival matter, yet sometimes it seems that I’m doing nothing but going round in circles, not getting anywhere in particular whilst constantly going through the motions of re-learning the same things.I recently read through my blogs and to be honest the story is often the same, just each time from a different perspective or put in a slightly more articulate or creative way.
I can almost put it into a diagram. I have profound moments of intimacy with God, perhaps learning something new or being caught in a renewed sense of awe of who he is. This is followed by a period of time where I passionately seek God and read my Bible with a new vigor, constantly praying that every day would be lived like it was my last. I even have a dog tag with the words “to live is Christ to die is gain” around my neck to remind me of the radical discipleship Christ calls me to. Then all too quickly I fall into the realms of ritualism, I read my Bible out of duty rather than Joy, I become bogged down in theological issues and desperately try to understand big things, asking the difficult questions hoping to discover something amazing.
Then I stop, reflect and realise that I’ve become trapped by my own religion. Yes MY own religion, not that of the church or anything else, but by the religous things that I put in my life. If you’ve ever spent more than five minutes talking to me about church you will know that I’m a cynic, questioning the state of church in my country and putting forward my own views on how communities should operate and how the church should rise up out of the ashes it finds itself in. Of course this comes from a sincere heart of despearatly wanting the church to rejuvenated in this country yet so often I miss the point. The problem is this isn’t a small minor detail but it’s the point itself. I miss God. I forget to just enjoy being in his presence, I become so focussed on the things of this world that I miss out on the most important thing of all. Even this morning I woke up early and the decision arose within me, Do I get out of bed and pray or do I let the safety of my bed drag me back into the realms of sleep.
I chose the latter.
I’m going round in circles. Constantly struggling to keep God at the centre of it all.
I guess this is where community is so important, encouraging each other to stick to the root of all that we are. To co-erce us to stop and reflect on our own spirituality and re-focus on God. If I’ve learnt anything from the bible it is this, you can only go where God wants you to go if you humble yourself and follow Gods lead whole heartedly. Its literally echoed in most stories of the Bible.
“Lord I ask only one thing, that you would humble me and teach me how to love and follow you with everything I’ve got, Amen”