Try to be good . . . check.
Go to the place and sit through the thing (almost) every week . . . check.
Say the stuff and mean it as much as you can . . . check.
Ugh . . . why do you still feel like crap and have all the problems after checking all of the boxes and trying real hard to do better? Because it was never about a checklist of stuff to do, say and try.
We’ve made it into a performance based attempt at being what we think it ought to be based on how others who are trying just as hard but are still just as screwed up look like. It was never about working in a factory to put something together, it was always about running through a field with Someone.
All we have to do is stop. Stop trying to be good. Stop trying to prove that we know more about Him than others. Stop trying to advance in the hierarchy of His business to be recognized by men as one of His people. Just be.
Just be with Him. Crawl up in His lap and rest. Receive the Breath of His Life by being immersed in His presence. He’s real, after all.
“Oh, I know, of course He’s real, I go to church every week and teach Sunday School and my kids have been baptized, etc. etc.” No, seriously; He is real. A living, breathing Father, Brother, Savior, Comforter, Counselor, King. He doesn’t care one little bit about all of that stuff that we do to try to prove that we are “in.” He just wants us to be – with Him.
A lady mentioned to me what church she went to a few weeks ago, not sure exactly why other than she wanted me to know that she was a good person. I asked her if she meets Him in that church and she looked genuinely surprised. She said, “no, I’ve never met Him there, but I go all the time.”
Why would any of us go to visit a loved one if we knew they weren’t home? Wouldn’t we intentionally arrange for a meeting and expect them to show up when we know them to be faithful friends? It’s the meeting that creates the experience and the experience that shapes who we are. We will act like who we are . . . without trying.