I like to read. I'm not one that devours ten books a month but I have a nice library but I have enough to keep me busy. What I like to read mostly is non-fiction. You know the true stuff that's supposed to encourage you, shape you, transform you and challenge you. Things that will help me in my work, things that will give me the right formulas and the right paradigms to transform me into the person God wants me to be.
Well I've read a duzy this time. I've been reading a couple of books actually. Books by authors that are Christian, claim to 'love God' and want to teach his ways. For the first time in a long time the material I've been reading isn't 'cookie cutter' religious writing that echoes what my denomination wants me to believe or teach. It is not the kind of material that gives you warm fuzzies either. What I've been reading has forced me to recognize that most of what we do in American church on Sunday mornings is about one thousand years old! Now I'm in this quandry. Are the teachings of Jesus enough for us to live by or do we actually need the layers of religious sediment that have accumulated for years?
I have recently had this overwhelming feeling that everything I have ever believed about going to church, God, religion, tradition etc. etc. is totally meaningless bunk. For the first time since I began following the teachings of Jesus in my adult life, I have had this nightmarish feeling that everything I've ever known about God and his love and grace were wrong, and because of that, I missed the boat. I'm doomed to damnation. It's like I'm being buried alive in religious knowledge. I feel, well, a bit lost.
So what does a guy like me do in scenarios like this? Well, the only thing I know to do is go back to where I started. I need to retrace my steps. It's not that I don't believe anymore. It's not that I hate certain traditions or American Christianity. I think it's really about being desperate for a new and real experience with God agian. The kind that cemented my commitment to him the first time. The kind that was unforgettable like with Moses or David.
So, if you are feeling lost, don't give up hope yet. Go back to what you know. Start again and be renewed. Let's do what Jesus said to the Church of Laodicea and "return to our first love."