Thursday, July 5

Running naked through the woods

You know what I just realized?

I'm not walking with God.

It's a realization that has been in progress, but wham. There it is. I have been in Auto-pilot since I got pregnant with my first daughter. That was 4 years ago. I was so tired. My body was so worn down. I had good excuses. I blamed it on the physical....someday I'll get to sleep through the night, I'll pursue God then. I blamed it on our church situation.....someday we'll find a Pentecostal church and a spirit-filled service will inspire me again. I blamed it on busy-ness....someday things will slow down and I can do things the right way.

And though I kept plodding along, I suddenly realize tonight that I veered off the path. You know the one...the one that walks hand in hand with God. The one that loves to be with Him and seeks Him and responds to Him.

Responds? Dare I tell you? I'm going to do it...bare it all. Here goes. Lately, when I've read posts about relationships with God....wanna know what went through my head? It's really bad. I can't believe I'm going to be honest about this. I thought "blah,blah,blah" and skimmed.

eep. I can't believe I scrolled past God working on people's hearts and lives and summed it up with the thought "Yeah, God stuff. I know."

My realization started with the beginning of The Organic God book. It begins talking about some phenomenon known as bio-luminescence. Summing up far too quickly: a friend saw something that resembled fireflies in the ocean and excitedly shared the story with the author. When the author calmly agreed it was beautiful, the friend said "You mean you already knew?" Such a small story, but it illustrates how that excitement is naturally lost as you become accustomed to something...even something amazing. It is common to get to that "Yup, seen it" stage with anything, unfortunately.

I preached a Youth sermon once about walking down my grandparents' dirt road. The path was beaten smooth and the trail was obvious. But if you stopped looking at your feet and started walking down that path, it was a simple thing to find yourself veering sideways and walking in the ditch beside the path. It was rough, but not impossibly so. It travelled the same direction as the path. One could even convince oneself they were still travelling the path. And if you could convince yourself of that, it would eventually become quite easy to veer off that path and find yourself walking on the banks of the ditch on the other side. And wham, before you know it, you're running through the woods naked.

It's so easy to say "That will never be me!"  How could one go from walking the path to running naked in the woods? I'm not sure you can. But you can walk pert-near close to the path and think you're just fine while all the while getting closer to the woods.

Anyway, the point of all this is to say that I have been going through the motions for a while now. Not sure when it started. I started this blog seeking Him. Longing for my first love. I didn't get side tracked with tragedy or turmoil. I got sidetracked with drudgery. Plod. Plod. Plod. One foot in front of the other...hey, pretty flower. Plod. Plod. What's that over the hill? Plod. Plod. Is that a curve ahead? Plod. Plod. The road didn't use to feel this rough. Plod. Plod. Remember the road way back when? Plod. Pl-wait a minute. This isn't the road! This is the stinkin' ditch!

This is where I found myself. Chris and I discussed it last night and agreed we're both in the same spot. We've been numb for so long. A deep talk with our 7-year old shook us out of it last night. It's hard to advise a child on a love-relationship with God without realizing, "Hey, where'd I put my love-relationship?"

Neither of us feel that passion right now. But we know we want it back. We can't back-track, but we can step back onto the path and put one step in front of the other. We can seek. We can walk where we know we're supposed to walk. Plod. Plod. But this time it's exciting because we know we're walking in obedience. The passion will come as we get to know the Maker of our path. This morning, we read My Utmost For His Highest. It's an awesome devotional. Especially if you want something that cuts through the crap of your own making. The verse this morning was from Isaiah and pronounces "...the parched ground shall be come a pool." That's me: parched ground. And that's my vision: a pool. A spring of water rising up. Chris and I discussed our vision for our family and we are in agreement. We want our children to love God. We want them to see us loving God. We want to love Him. We want God to be our foundation and our lifeblood. We want to desire it passionately. It's worth the valley. Right now the valley is our own apathy. We'll trudge through it. And we'll keep our clothes on.


Growing in Grace (Nicole) said...

Your post is very timely for me as I've realized I'm in the same boat (or should I say ditch?). I, too, have been taking steps to correct that. I could especially empathize with what you said about skipping over God stuff when I'm reading. Totally me too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It gives me the added reminder that I need to get back in a love-relationship with God.

Jen in MS said...

Awesome, honest post Jenn! Thank you!

Jennie C. said...

blah, blah, blah. :-)

I few weeks ago, I watched Facing The Giants. About half and hour into it, I started thinking, "This is a corny movie!" I spent the rest of the show wondering why anyone who talks about God is corny. Now you know my beloved is in Iraq. The greeting there is "Salaam aleikum", which means "Peace be upon you". I've been wondering, too, what would happen if I stopped saying "Hi" or "Hello". What if I said, "May the Lord's peace be with you" instead? I've not quite gotten up the fortitude to do it, but it weighs heavily upon me. It's a small way to live what I believe, to make it clear to others what I believe. It's much harder to believe in secret, so to speak, you know?

Forgive my ramble. I think I have an email about the Pearls to answer.

Jenn said...

Nicole, thank you for sharing. It's a relief to know I'm not alone in this. Keep me accountable, y'all.

Jennie, let's keep the Pearls under our hats until I figure out what I think of them. Don't need anyone thinking I'm a cult follower - lol.

Jenni said...

Ugh. I know. Someone once told me that it's decision, then desire, then deliverance. I have to make the decision before the desire to keep doing what I know I should comes. It's so hard. (Whine!)

I've been having a hard time getting excited about God when we just have our tiny fellowship of mostly family members. I get all excited and into it when we go visit friends in Ohio or elsewhere, but here it's just like BLAH. Routine. Boring. I know I've got a bad attitude. I should be thankful to have such a wonderful family and thankful for the few others in our fellowship.

I just feel closed off. I don't know how to explain, but there it is. I've enjoyed my internet conversations and a few conversations with people from other churches/denominations. There just always seems to be one thing or another to divide us and keep us apart. Have you listened to OKCyndi's podcasts? There's a lot I can't agree with there, but I just love how she seems to want to bring Christians together so I keep listening. I think my husband thinks I'm crazy, LOL.

I guess that's one of the things I like about this internet thing. I've been able to find a few people who love God and are willing to get past those denominational dividers to love one another and just speak God's Word to one another. There may be disagreements, but overall it helps me think. I find myself asking, "What *does* God's Word say?" It is a blessing and great source of encouragement. It keeps me from saying, "Yeah, I already know that," and makes me say, "How do I know that? *Do* I know that?"

Christy said...

Jenn, I totally completely understand. I have felt this way, been this way for a long time. I have had a few light bulb moments and I am feel like I am very slowly crawling back from my apathy.
I have felt dead for a long time, God things seemed to bore me, and I felt horrible about it but at the same time powerless to change it. APathy is powerful and I also need someone to hold me accountable!
Me and Clay also had a conversation similar to yours and Chris's talk. We are also trying to trudge through it and we will keep our clothes on as well ;)

andie said...

AH! The crazy Pearl secret is out!


Just kidding.
I'm commenting late. I've read the post a few times. It's great.

But every time I see the post title all I can think is "Would ya please cover yourself?!" in my best Big Brother Chet voice.

And I thought I'd share that.

This is what happens when I've cleaned up the house (mostly almost all the way) and the babies are napping. Babbling.

But if you don't get the Chet reference, I think I'll cry.

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