That Nagging Feeling

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. (Ephesians 5:8)

I keep having this feeling. I’ve tried scrubbing it out, soaking it out—but I just can’t get rid of it. It stays there like some faint grape juice stain on an otherwise nice white shirt. It’s the unsettling feeling that my life should somehow be different than it is.

I don’t mean I wish I had a different job or was a rich rock star or some famous Pulitzer Prize winning author. Actually, I’m pretty okay with the logistics of my life as they’ve turned out. Well, except for the bald spot on the back of my head. Okay, maybe I would like to be a sex god rock star or blockbusting author—and I might as well throw in filthy rich while I’m at it. Oh, and taller, with just a hint of dangerous mystery lurking behind my eyes. And I wouldn’t mind a nice beach house at the Oregon coast either. And a Ph.D. in something impressive like, say, literary theology or metaphysical particle physics or medieval political philosophy. But, like I said, I’m not talking about this stuff.

What I’m talking about is the nagging sense that I’m not quite catching on to the Christian thing. I can’t shake the feeling that how I’m doing it isn’t quite how I’m supposed to be doing it. I’ve tried blasting that feeling out with mega-shots of anti-legalism Scripture bullets. I’ve greedily devoured soothing pastoral chitchats which reassure me that it’s not about my performance. I’ve even developed my own personal theology that not only justifies my current mode of operation but celebrates it. But, no matter what, I just can’t get rid of that dang wormy feeling that my God game is a little off target.

I get the theory of it. Jesus saves me from the dark side and summarily boots me into the light side. He scrapes all the crud off me, hoses me down, hands me a newly laundered soul, and turns me loose on the world, a brand spanking new spit-shined saint. I know it’s not about jumping through religious hoops to keep my place in the celestial circus ring. I know that it’s all a God thing from first to last. Trust me; I totally get that.

So here I am, all saved and polished and everything. So why’s that not good enough? Can’t I just enjoy my new duds until the Jesus limo comes to pick me up and take me to the ball? Why this sneaking suspicion that I’m supposed to do something other than what I spend all my time doing? Why this weirdness that I’m not quite firing on all the salvation cylinders? What the hell do I want from me anyway? This thing really bugs me sometimes.

Now before you go jumping off to conclusions, I don’t want you do get the idea that I’m actually going to do something about this. I’ve got way too much invested in my current theory of spiritual stasis. I only bring it up in the interests of full disclosure and because every once in a while I stumble across a Bible verse that makes me wonder if I’ve got a hole in my theory somewhere.


3 Responses

  1. It’s incredibly comforting to know that one of my favorite speakers of all time, someone I admire intellectually and spiritually, has that nagging feeling. I have that nagging feeling, too.

  2. Ya know, I think any of us would be abby-normal if we didn’t have that “nagging” feeling. The Amazing Apostle Paul said of himself, that the thing he didn’t want to do, he did; the thing he did want to do he didn’t…if HE felt that we, I’m pretty darn sure the rest of us are gonna experience it! Why be the exception when you can be the rule. I also think the nagging feeling is still rooted in the whole legalism vs. grace gig. Jesus said something about “abiding” didn’t He? I don’t think we get that for the most part, but I as I understand it, VINES produce the fruit and BRANCHES just hang out, look cool, and display the spiritual Bling on God’s behalf. If branches could produce fruit all by themselves, what the heck would they need a vine for? You’d have branches zippin’ around all over the place, producing nummie fruit, and it could only result in chaos and anarchy in the end of it all. God typically works in a much more orderly, if somewhat predictable, monotonous, and boring pattern. So, I’d get used to the “nagging” if you want to stay a Christian; if you are married, it can work in your favor! Be Blessed if you can anyway , KC

  3. Can’t say I share the “nagging” feeling. Sadly, I’ve never been so certain I am where I am supposed to be and doing what I am supposed to be doing. It’s just too bad I am not more enthusiastic about it.

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