Saturday, February 20, 2010

Caught Between Just Who You Are and Who You Want to Be

Oh my Jesus, Thou knowest well that I love Thee, but I do not love Thee enough; O grant that I may love Thee more, O love that burnest ever and never failest, my God. Though Who art charity itself, enkindle in my heart that divine flame which consumes the saints and transforms them unto Thee. Amen.

I have started this post with this prayer, partly because I read it last night and it made an immediate impression upon me and partly because it was after reading this prayer that I began to think about the difference between where I am and where I want to be.

I know that I love Jesus. But I also know that I don’t love him enough. And last night, just before reading this prayer, I was getting a bit upset about the difference between who I am and who I should be.

The hardest thing about being a Christian, I believe, is not living a Christian life. It’s not doing the right things and making the right choices - that is when that’s what I am doing.

I think there are two common views of Christianity. The first is that Christianity is a crutch, something that helps you out when life is too tough. The second is that Christianity involves giving up everything you want to do and being miserable because of it.

It is true that some people use Christianity as a crutch. They’re interested in God when life gets tough and they think he’s going to wave a magic wand and make everything okay again. But as soon as life gets good again, it’s Goodbye God and hello world.

But to truly follow Christ involves some sacrifice. It does mean giving up some things we want to do. It means putting others and God before our own selfish desires.

But it doesn’t mean being miserable because of it.

I said before that the hardest thing about being a Christian is not living a Christian life. By which I meant that living a Christian life is not the hardest thing about being a Christian. But it can also apply the other way. The hardest thing about being a Christian is ‘not living a Christian life’. When you’re a Christian, but you’re not living life the way you want to, that’s the hardest thing.

And all Christians are in this situation. None of us are living life exactly the way we want to. We are caught between who we are and who we want to be. And it’s really hard wanting to live a certain way, but falling so far short of it.

And what makes it even harder is I know I will never get to that place. I know there is never going to come a day when I say ‘Oh good, made it. Now I can relax.’ It is always going to be some elusive goal ahead of me, that I keep walking towards (and sometimes away from), but that always seems to get further and further away.

If I did manage to reach a state of pure selflessness, where the only thing that mattered in my life was God, and where I lost every single one of my selfish desires, the world would look at me and say ‘what a miserable existence’. But it sounds wonderful to me. Misery is not being there yet.

And before I end this post, I just want to point out that the title did not come from me. It’s not exactly the words of any great theologian either. It’s a line from the Bon Jovi song, ‘Welcome to Wherever you Are’. That line kept running through my mind as I was writing this post and so it became my title.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Bookmark and Share

Blog Patrol