"God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him in the midst of loss, not prosperity." --John Piper

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Long Journey, Part 1

God does not want to see effort in us, He wants to see CHRIST in us.

As I wrestle with this thing called Christianity, I find that a lot of my thoughts and ideas have changed over the years.

I grew up in a home where God was recognized, but not taught or followed. Mom and Dad came from different religions (he: Lutheran, she: Catholic). They came here as immigrants. When we were younger, we were sent (not taken) to Mass.

I remember one day specifically. I must have been around 8 or 9. It was not a Sunday, but I went into the church to find my brother (who was an altar boy). There was some kind of a service going on. I just stuck my head in to see if he was around and attempted to leave. A priest stopped me and asked me what I was doing. I told him. He told me that I shouldn't go in a service and then just turn around and leave. He told me that I had committed a mortal sin.

Now, I didn't know much, but I knew that this was not a good thing. Dang, only 9 years old and hell-bound already. I wondered if there was any way out of this, or if I should just accept my fate. The thought of demons for roommates was a real bummer. Mom wasn't gonna like this either, so I had better not tell her.

I see things differently now.

I feel sorry for that priest. So wrapped up in trying to serve God, yet so blind. Catholics do not have a corner on that market by the way.

How can leaving a church service be any worse that not going at all? Is God really that petty and controlling? I don't think so. I have left services early since that time, and haven't thought twice about it.

What Satan intended to be a spiritual scar actually became a means of grace in the hands of God. I could have left that night defeated, doomed, feeling lost with no hope of redemption. But God had other plans for me.

Tomorrow: My Confirmation. Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

oh this is wonderful...i love personal stories.

Robin said...

looking forward to it!
I think I know exactly what you mean. I remember once being in the "sanctuary" (as the Methodists call it) and I think I stood on one of the alter cushions (i had my shoes on too!). I was probably 7. I was told to get down, that that is something we don't do, standing on the alter cushions. Granted, there may be something in that, I don't think I should be adding to the cleaning crew's workload, but viewing it as a sin (which is kind of the impression that I got) was, even at 7, a little strange.
"Are the pillows holy?" I asked. "Everything in here is holy" was the answer.
Sadly, I don't think the people (including the naughty little boy with his shoes on the white cushions) were included.