“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NRSV)
I have a major pet peeve.
I cannot stand it when religious folk vehemently claim to have discovered some kind of universal truth that, when logically applied to situations other than their own, results in nothing more than a heavier burden for others to carry (seriously, if you are heterosexual, stop pretending you understand homosexuality).
I used to carry quite the religious burden. I was told I needed to act a certain way, speak a certain way, and believe certain doctrines in order to garner Divine favor (in contrast to Eph. 2:8-9). I ended up rejecting religion entirely for a time because if relationship with God and receiving His love had to be earned, I knew I wasn’t going to make the cut. So, why try?
What I eventually learned was that my desire to know God, and my searching for Him, was enough (Matthew 6:33). Because He already was searching me out– I just hadn’t realized it yet.
Even when I fail miserably at keeping the lines of communication open on my end, God finds a way to speak to my heart. To remind me that I matter– Just as I am.
Life can be hard when it is spent, sun up to sun down, pouring one’s self into others. I get tired. I grow weary. Jesus knew what it was like to feel those things (John 4:6). Heck, Jesus even cried (John 11:35– Hey! Mark Driscoll! Put that verse in your masculine can and kick it!).
If God in Christ experienced human limitations, then, why do we human beings get all bent out of shape over our own limitations or perceived defects?
I think that Christianity truly clicked for me after I stopped trying so hard. After I no longer cared about being sinless, or life-changing experiences, or Divine favor, or ascending the spiritual ladder. I just wanted to know God. That’s all. Even today, that’s all I’m after. I don’t care about miraculous healing, or seeing God working around me… I just want to have a deeper relationship with Him. Try to understand a bit of who He really is, and what He desires for the work of His hands. Maybe get the chance to work with Him, if He asks me to.
That is the entirety of my faith. To come to know God and be considered His friend (John 15:15). I find, that’s all I need. Sure, I get moody when I don’t understand why things are going the way they are in life… No human relationship is perfect (especially with me!). I don’t think God expects our side of things to be anything other than human. And I think He much prefers our humble questioning to adherence to puffed up human doctrines.
If you are “in it to win it”, or are trying to equate “right” thinking with Divine will… I think you’ve missed the boat. There is no prize for “most godly” or “best Christian” at the end of this life. There is just God.
Our relationship with Him starts whenever we want it to. Trust me on this though… God already knows you. Our friendship with God is all about us knowing Him, and getting to know ourselves as well as He does;)