|I slaved over a new "Personal" blog image.
Behold my 18 year old self on the last day of HS!
I keep going back to the night I was saved. I remember that there was a "cool" looking guy with frosted tips and a mild flirtation with obesity performing what I can only describe now as some kind of morality play. He held an apple in his hand, speaking to us about the original sin of eating from the fruit of knowledge. On the stage was a cheap mirror and he proceeded to throw the apple at the mirror. He said that our lives, without God, become like the mirror: shattered and irreparable. And while he was technically right, only today can I point out a myriad of reasons why the execution was, at it's core, a manipulative exercise. Still, it stirred in me a response to follow Christ. And I guess you could say that I've been confused ever since. (In a sublimely good way, of course.)
Something apparent from the several months of counseling that I have invested in so far is my never ending need for validation. It is a pathological fixation, from what I've been told, and the repercussions have sent ripples throughout my life. It has affected my personal life, my professional career in IT administration, and (I've just realized) my relationship with God.
Thinking back on my life, always wanting to be in the right standing with society, becoming a Christian was likely, in my 15 year old mind, the best possible decision. Existentially speaking, I could now be in the "right" with almost 2000 years of tradition and structure to cement in the certainty that I was "doing the right thing" by accepting God's promises. The irony here is that I was violating the entire paradigm of Christianity by doing something, to get something. I accepted Christ as my authority so that I could be "in the right."
Now, it certainly didn't help that I was attending a church that produced, with factory-like proficiency, people that walked, talked, acted like Christians, but whom may not have even been Christians in the first place. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that it was a "Non-Denominational" church, which without qualm produce the least common denominator of "Christian," many of whom I imagine practice because their belief was passed from mother to daughter, father to son. They, in essence, operating from the same position I was. "I'm doing this because this is the right thing to do."
So imagine my sudden shock of arriving at the conclusion that I had not really accepted Christ because I wanted him, but because I wanted something out of it: the certainty that what I was doing was the "right thing to do."
There are so many ways to proceed from here and I am content to stay on the page, but with all of life's changes in elevation I suspect I will be thinking about this more as time goes on. Ideally we should believe in Jesus like we believe in superheroes. We love what he does and how he saved us, and aspire to be more like him everyday.