So, I guess here’s the place where I decide to start talking to you again, God.
That, or keep up this dialogue with myself that keeps me stagnant and rotting. To call life without you death is something I have found true. To call me dead would be almost accurate–only that I’m more like a walking dead, because I continue to exist here, without change, without love, without happiness. I always blame you for how you know I need to learn things the hardest of ways…but that’s really not you. I get to chose how I want to learn things. And I keep choosing the hardest.
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Life without you is death. I cannot be more miserable, even though I have been. Now, without cutting myself, without trying to kill myself, I still exist.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
My days are so evil. They are of trying to grasp any kind of “happiness” or endorphines I can, as much as I can, and never finding happiness. They are of flotsam, bouncing on the waves under the dock, caught up and stuck in rotting net, with a putrid rainbow of spilt oils and chemicals floating around me. They are of stink, of rot, of decay preserved on the surface, to bring sickness and disgust to all around, unable to quietly sink and be gone.
I’m tired of rotting, on the surface and underneath. As I live my life outloud, my stench of death turns the stomachs of those around me, and I live under this dock, floating my time away. My days are evil.
Today, my pastor spoke about those verses above. And how my day rots. He mentioned his time in a Southern Baptist church (the type of church in which I was raised) throwing off dark robes to reveal their choir robes, singing “He’s Alive!” He spoke about being in that sort of church, listening to the “free gift” explanation of the “gospel message.” All these things, more than familiar to me. Things I try to avoid because they somehow, in my life, were not true. Turned me off to God. He explained when he heard this “message,” he thought, “There must be a catch.” And then, he said, “There is.”
Ah, that. Things are never as good as they sound. And this “free gift” that allowed me to live my life in any way I wanted never seemed that good. (See: flotsam. See: acid rot. See: bobbing dead.)
The catch: you have to give your life over entirely to him. He owns it now.
Cue: fireworks. Cue: lightbulb. Cue: washing off the mud from eyes.
If I want this gift, it’s free. No catch. But if I want the happiness and the joy and the fulfillment and the communion and the safety and–not the love, but the ability to experience the love–I need to give it all over. “Give it all over.”
Give it all, over and over and over and over and over. And over and over and over again, over and over again.
Thankfully, that’s not what I have to DO, but what I need to allow.
It’s a lot. But considering the stench, it’s nothing. It’s a life of rotting or a life of being. I want to be.
Happy. Purposeful. Inspired. Loved. Joyful. Laughing. Feeling. MEANING.
So, I get the message. “The Good but-not-without-a-catch News.”
The “‘Sounds Like a Sacrifice’ News.”
Except…it’s an offer between rotting and living. And that’s a choice that’s not to hard to make. Maybe at first…and what do I know–hard for some people who can live happily without living entirely owned by God. But I–obviously–cannot. (For my sake, I hope I never forget this.)