I am not god.
While that may be an obvious statement to most, there was a time in my life where I felt the pressure to be god. Many years ago, I was a church pastor, not a full grown one because I was single and young and a youth pastor, which meant some of the older church members didn’t take me serious. Some did. Some came to church and expected me to be, in a lot of ways, god. Pooh pooh that statement if you want, but think about what how we describe any church pastor who is caught making a mistake. We describe them as ‘falling from grace’. In a lot of ways, a church pastor or a priest or a nun or anyone whose vocation is dedicated to serving god, is elevated to the point of being god in the eyes of many. To many, they are god. There are standards that must be met, standards that ordinary people don’t have to meet.
Although those outside of believing in god like to set those standards on people who do believe in god. There is a certain way that any type of believer must act. It’s a believers’ box and if they don’t fit in, well, ummmm.. god forbid. Trying to fit that mold can be stressful, the expectations seemingly almost impossible to meet, and I have seen many give up simply because they know they can not meet those expectations, especially young people. It is tough even when reality, even god says, it shouldn’t be. Contrary to what I thought at one time in my life, it never gets easier to live as the world thinks a Christian should or even as other Christians think a Christian should live. You don’t reach certain levels or earn badges as you progress in life. The challenges are different in each stage of life.
I am not godly.
Or at least I struggle to be godly. My idea of what is or is not godly has also changed, especially as I break away from the clichés I was brought up to believe (whether those clichés are right or wrong is not important). I have learned to expect that god accepts me as I am, found out that there is a common sense to what god expects from me, seen that I can still make mistakes and still be accepted by god. Big mistakes make it more difficult for me to approach a holy god, but even a holy god is my creator who understands the spiritual struggle I am dealing with.
I hate not being perfect. I despise living in the world and the mistakes that I make. Sometimes the world seems like a big fishbowl where everyone is looking at me and expecting me to swim straight. I can’t.
That is why going to church can be so cool. When I go to church, a place where I am with other Christians escaping from that fish bowl existence, there is an hour or two each week where I do not have to worry about being god or godly.. just with other people who want to be in the presence of god. A church is a good church when it becomes a refuge. I know there are churches that are not and that makes me sad,sorry. Mine is. Mine helps me to understand that worship (church) is a whole lot more for me than it is for god.
Think about that the next time you go to church or pray, if you are one who does that type of thing. Going to church or praying or singing a song is for you. It is not an obligation. Going to church is not your duty. It is your time to be with god and with others who are there to approach him, to enjoy the refuge of one who knows you and really doesn’t care who or what you are, in a place with others who mean nothing more or less to him, who leave whatever shortcomings, successes, and whatever else defines them outside as they approach god.
There Is freedom.
That freedom makes me want to dance like David, a man who made so many mistakes, yet knew the freedom that made him one of god’s most beloved. Don’t worry — I will not dance naked like David did.
I have a shot.