Why I’m A Terrible Disciple
That is to say, I’m a terrible student of the stuff that matters most, and especially the God who matters most.
I tend to major in the minors, constantly developing expertise in the mundane, the trivial, the temporal, while merely dabbling in the eternal, the transcendent, matters of the heart.
To be honest, I tend to know more about which celebrity is dating which other celebrity than I do about what the Bible says about anything.
I’m always looking for a spirituality that fits me, so when it comes to developing my faith, I have a long list of personal preferences. For example:
- I prefer to pick up books on “Christian Living”, get a brief spiritual buzz out of my reading, and immediately go looking for another.
- I prefer to listen to my favorite worship artists’ sing about being still and quiet with God than actually sit still and be quiet with God.
- I prefer to watch a podcast of my favorite preacher/best-selling author/Major Christian Celebrity telling me what Jesus is like than to study the Bible and listen for how Jesus describes what God is like.
- I prefer to attend Christian retreats and high-energy conferences to “recharge my spiritual batteries” and to meet fellow spiritual travelers, by which I mean, fellow experts of the mundane (where we’ll pause, exchange pleasantries, and discuss trivial things like how many people go to each other’s church and have you read the latest book by ___________? Oh, it changed my life!) I prefer nurturing faith that doesn’t involve a lot of self-sacrifice (unless that “sacrifice” can be easily budgeted into my time and bank account).
Don’t get me wrong. I have had truly transcendent faith experiences, spaces and times where I have felt the presence of God so intimately and tangibly that my whole body reacts, like being kissed in a candle lit room.
I have worshipped and served in communities where the bonds between ourselves felt so strong that we didn’t have to “practice community”. We were family, a bunch of brothers, sisters, cousins, and strange but loveable uncles laughing around a great big dinner table. There was nothing we’d rather do than simply be together.
But those experiences have been the exception, not the rule. And like I said, I’m a terrible disciple. I have the attention span of an eight-week-old kitten in a rom full of yarn.
So when the transcendent encounters with God and others would pass (as they always do since, for some annoying reason, God seems to prefer using the ordinary stuff of life to craft a soul), my rapturous passion would slip quietly out the backdoor. The party would be over, with only red plastic cups and crumpled napkins on the ground to remind me something had actually happened the night before.
I wonder if you know what I mean.
Posted on October 6, 2011, in humanity vs. technology, lifestyle, relationships and tagged celebrity pastors, Christian Living, church, community, discipleship, God, Jesus. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.