Will You Have Us Wait Another Two Thousand Years?
Father, good father,
You have brought me to perhaps the strangest place of my life. I feel quite dull in my works and doings. The strangest place to be is the place after all the accidents happen.
I would say that I have been sleepwalking for a long time, but that would be a disservice to what you have done for me. You have brought me out of sleepwalking time and time again and I ask you to pull me through this one. But that cannot be done until I bow the knee once more to Jesus Christ as Lord.
You will not let me go until you have fully dealt with all my desires, even the ones that seem like they have been with me forever. You will not let me go, until you deal with my vanity and pride and ambition and conceit and lust and the sensation that I can just easily ignore you and ignore my problems if I confess them daily. But though I confess my sins, do I really leave them aside?
I crave purity and holiness like the world craves sex, with my loins. I crave it like it’s something I need, though you and I know how long we can all go without receiving the purity you have already given us. The world is rubbing its face in the dirt. Does the world know what it means to crave holiness? Does the world know that those who serve you are its inheritors?
I think you have matured me much more than I was expecting. But even so, I don’t think that I am dealing with anything fundamentally more different than what I have dealt with in the past. I am now coming up against the desire to live life on my own terms. And I am not praying much anymore. You have dug so many sins out of me, I am seeing the ones I did not know were there.
When did I get so comfortable with going so many hours and days and weeks without talking to you and coming to you first? For Lord, you desire good things for me, but you do not desire that I do life on my own. I have seen into the global person, I say to myself, and when I come back from seeing how other people live their lives without you—and how they claim happiness!—for some reason I think that I can live my life without you, but that is clearly impossible. I cannot live my life without you. So let them live their lives without you, let them go to hell. What can I do for those who are choosing it as if it were their best option? Can I save the world with my pity?
The only thing I can do is to finish what has been begun in me, which is to run the race. You began a good work in me and I will see it to completion. But dear God, I get tired sometimes. And dear God, I am so overcome at times about the oddity that is belief in a world when there are so many people apparently going to hell for their lack of belief. But it is so easy to disbelieve. How can you be the true God if it is so easy not to believe in you? How can you be the true God when even I, who has the Holy Spirit inside me, can live like the pagans do, not praying ceaselessly? Are you punishing me for my emotional distance with your cosmic distance?
But the reason I live no differently than the pagans and the reason I do not succor myself with high-handed sin, but succor myself with temptations, is because I have not bent the knee. And I need to bend the knee again or else I will give into the misery of the race coming to an abrupt end. I do not want the race to end. I want to keep running, but will you forgive me for this long, protracted lapse of faithfulness? This quiet has become so insidious and began sometime in the beginning of the year.
How can Jesus be the answer to every problem when the world seems so big? Forgive me for this thought, because I need to remember that Jesus is the one who rules the entire world. Jesus is the one who made this world so big and I am the one who would like to live my life without him in the small space that I have carved out for myself. This small space, if I never left it, could seem to be the world.
I can no longer choose ambition over Jesus, good. I can no longer choose the pleasures, because they feel like nothing. What I can do these days it seems is distract myself from faithfulness by worrying about all the things that I am not doing. I worry so much about what needs to be done, but I do none of it. I am like the workaholic, but instead of working, I just worry. I worry that maybe you have not forgiven me for past sins. I worry about my laziness as I am being lazy. I worry about all the missteps in my speech. I worry about being uncovered as a fraud. How have I been a fraud? May you count the ways and not number any of it against me.
Meanwhile I am getting much better at writing, but I have less and less good reasons for that to matter to me, because I feel like I have less to say.
But the answer is simply to confess and to repent and move on into joy. So forgive me for disbelieving in you. Help my unbelief. Move me more into the direction towards your son. Come and make a home with me. I bend the knee.
Oh God, heavenly king, grace and peace is mine if I come to your throne. Cleanse me from all impurities. Purge me and I shall be pure. Lord, this is not just another religion. What religions demand so much fealty for the reward of peace? This is not happiness that the world knows. The world does not know the happiness of the perishable inheriting the imperishable. The world does not know Jesus. But it is going to cost them. It costs me.
But your servant has already paid the price for my daily sins and so I demand to be requited. I demand that you recognize me as your servant. I demand that you give me more faith. I demand these things in the name of Jesus Christ who died for me and proved to the entire world that death is the path taken by the victors. I want to know you more. May you come and save me every day of my life. Come and save me. Give me that peace the world does not know.
And fill the world with this peace. What’s taking so long? Will you burn this world with fire? Will you call your children, “Not my children?”
May we all become your children. I am your child. Do not punish me too harshly as I learn the lesson of what it means to hope.