Recently i was trying to work through an extreme bout of spiritual apathy. What has been interesting to me has been that during a lot of this time i had not really been doing a whole lot “wrong.” I had tried to love my fiance, eat well, and work hard at my job, and i would say that for the most part i have been able to do that (my fiance might disagree). Despite my actions, i felt dead inside. I found myself distraught.
That began to change this past weekend when i went with my fiance to visit a friend of mine and visit the pastor who is to marry us. As we were making the roughly two hour trek up to my friend’s house a sermon came on the radio. I normally dislike listening to sermons in the car (i have no idea why), but she wanted to and i agreed.
The pastor began to preach over Psalm 6. For those of you who don’t know, that is one of several Psalms categorized as the “penitential psalms.” These Psalms have traditionally been used by the church as texts to call itself to repentance of sin (see also Psalms 32 & 51). I immediately began to dislike what i was hearing, because i thought that it was stupid for Christians to spend their time flooding their bed with weeping and drenching their couches with tears (Ps 6:6). “Yes we sin” i thought, but get up and get moving again! I thought that this focus on sin was counterproductive at best, morbid at worst.
After a weekend to think about this, i see now how foolish my initial impressions were. Being a Christian is’t about efficiency; it is about pleasing God. Sometimes we need to feel bad, b/c it moves to a place where God can give us true happiness! The Bible never asks us to only weep, but it also never says we will never be sad. God’s grace can be implanted in our hearts only as deeply as we allow him to dig and remove our sin to make room for it. Sadly it seems that He can dig deeper than we ever thought He could (or wanted Him to). It is scary to realize that until we allow God’s ever-present heavy hand of holiness to spur us on to acknowledge our sin and beg for him to remove it from us, our souls are sapped of strength (Ps 32:3-5). Once that is the case, we are merely trying to look busy by what we do. We are wasting our time and God’s offering Him filthy rags.
This has really been an interesting time of “relearning.” I am discovering that while the actions are the same, i am starting to notice the Lord again. The pain was worth it, but i hope that i don’t have to “relearn” it again.