I know. You're probably all like, "But you're a Christian. Aren't you supposed to do that EVERY Sunday? Aren't you supposed to be all plugged in and excited about church?!?" I can practically feel your finger pointing at me as I type this. Shame. Shame on me. Slap me on the wrist and call me a baaaaddd little Christian girl. Go ahead. Double dog dare you to. DO. IT. : )
All taunting aside, I really do have a fairly significant amount of guilt over my recent slackerhood. I wish I was one of those Christians who had it all together and who felt filled with the Spirit on a regular basis. Sometimes I even wish my blogging was more eloquent when it came to spiritual matters. But the truth is, I usually feel like a baaaaddd little Christian girl.
Last week, a dear friend of mine came to visit E and me for a few days. We became good friends during our first year of college, and recently reconnected. While she was here, we had numerous discussions about our spiritual lives and what they look like. During our college days, we both became heavily involved in a Christian organization that focused on teaching students how to be "spirit filled Christians." The problem with this experience was that instead of teaching me to be "spirit filled" it taught me to be legalistic. It taught me that a "good Christian looks like this" and if I didn't measure up to those expectations then there was a good bit of shunning and judgement that took place. They often preached loving others in grace, but when it came right down to it, if you didn't check the appropriate boxes, then the general consensus was "you're not good enough." That's not to say that this particular organization is bad. They do wonderful things, and lead many lost souls to Christ. But my experience was frustrating, and I came out of the organization with a very heavy knowledge that I would never quite measure up.
Since my divorce, I've come to a conclusion about being "spirit filled." It's not profound. It's not anything all that special. But it's honest, and for the first time in my walk with God, I'm all about telling it JUST. LIKE. IT. IS.
Being spirit filled can't be taught. It can't be learned. It can't be diagrammed on a white board with pretty pictures of crosses and sin. Being spirit filled isn't a goal. It's an experience. It's momentary, and it comes and goes with the journey. There are moments that your soul will be so filled up with the essence of the Holy Spirit, that it will seem as if God is right there wrapped around you. And there are times when the Holy Spirit will seem so distant that you may feel that your prayers could never possibly be loud enough to penetrate the veil of the heavens. Being spirit filled isn't something you can DO. It's simply something you can BE, and that, not all of the time. The feeling will come and go. It's the faith in the downtime that distinguishes the believer from the unbeliever.
That said, I must admit that more often than not, I don't FEEL spirit filled. And while it was great to worship in church this morning with other believers, I don't really feel much different as a church goer today than I did last week as a baaaddd little Christian girl when I slept in and watched cartoons with my toddler.
That's why I'm loving God for real these days. No shows to put on. No games to play. No hoops to hurl myself through. It's just me and Him....me all flawed and feverish, and Him all full of love and grace with the expectation only that I show up and pay attention, and for the first time ever, that's a hoop I'm happy to hula.
I'll probably go back to church next week. Not because I have to or because I should. I'll probably go just because for the first time in 28 years, there is only One Person who will be expecting me. And for the first time in 28 years, there's only One Person that I don't want to disappoint.
The really good thing about it is....if I don't show up, I'm pretty sure that it won't matter...
He'll come find me.
He'll come find me.
IN COMPLETELY UNRELATED NEWS....my toddler just yanked on my arm and said, "Diaper duwty....change me pwease." I feel a potty training blog coming on.