What changed after I accepted Christ?
(If you’re interested in what my life was like before I made that decision, or why I did, take a look at my posts: How I came to Christ, parts I and II respectively.)
I still have good days and bad days. In truth, some of the hardest days of my life have come since becoming a Christian.
I know that some people become Christians and all there problems go away. They are happy all the time. All there problems shrink. All the sinful aspects of their lives go away. They are healed instantly, and they are whole.
If you’re looking for these, you’ll have to go looking somewhere else. This wasn’t my experience. I think I’m overall happier, but Jesus is not uber-prozac; people who know me would be the first to tell you I’m not somebody whose always got a smile on his face. (I’m a firm believer in psychiatric medications; no disrespect is meant at the prozac crack.)
So what’s changed? What’s the point? Why bother?
I believe for most people, becoming a Christian is the beginning of a journey toward Truth. I’m open to the possibility that some people are teleported to the truth, Star-Trek style. But for most of us, it glorifies God that we walk… and it is a long walk.
The difference between being embarked on an epic journey and randomly wandering is mostly whether or not you have a destination.
There was a time I wandered through life. Now I am embarked on an epic journey.
This meaning of the whole trip converys meaning to every little step. When I experience the metaphorical equivalent of a strained ankle or a blister, it is a blister I have in the name of my creator and redeemer.
When I’m at my best I feel the troubles of life less sharply and the joys of life more accutely. The idea that I am loved, that I am deeply and truly and loved, changes everything…
when I let it.
When I am praying, when I am serving, when I am in the scripture… not just reading it for geeky show off points, not just reading it to earn brownie points with God, not just reading it to garner support for presuppositions I had before even opening the bible… in short, when I’m reading the bible the right way; when it’s more an act of love and communication than a task a set of propostions…
When all these things happen my every day reality is transformed in profound, inexplicable, and deep ways.
When I don’t engage in these acts of love and communication with my creator, my life is not really much different than it was before Jesus was a part of it.
I don’t really mean that last sentence. Except that I exactly do.
It’s frustrating to try and put words to this. The simple act of orienting my life toward Jesus, of accepting Him into my heart, this is an action which is much greater than everybody ever said… and at the same time, if I don’t follow it up, with actions, if my confession is just for show, it’s exactly, at the same time, much less, too… But when I do follow it up, when my confession is one that penetrates me, when I know that it is heart-felt because it spurs me on to act on it… then everything is so different.
This makes it sound like Christ is only with me sometimes… and this, too, isn’t right. He is with me. But it’s more like, sometimes I’m with him, and other times, when he says “Follow me.” I say, “uhhm, I think I’ll take this short cut over here.”
I say this forgetting that the Israelite’s short cut lead to 40 years in the desert.
Evem when I go my way Jesus rains manna of all sorts on me. He doesn’t leave me even though I leave him… He continues to call after me, and I hear him, and sometimes I turn and follow, and sometimes I don’t… And I guess this is the story of the whole human race, of all human history.