I know I was suppose to go through Law #2 this time, but I felt called to do something a little different with my blog tonight: write a little something more personal about what God is doing in my own life right now. I wrote the title of this blog at first as a kind of joke or a way to center my thoughts, but you know what? It accurately describes me to the point where I'm going to let it stand as is. I suck. Bad. Let me tell you why...
I will now preface what I'm about to say with a little information about me. I love knowledge. I love knowing stuff and having a reason to believe the way I do. I do it under the preface that I'm basing all my faith on fact... but that's just it. Often times its all about "facts" for me. I read my bible, study theological books, and love to be the guy who always has the correct answer, but for shear application? Actually sitting down and applying the facts I uncover in my study to change the way I view God and thereby alter the way I live my life? I'm a fricken doctor dying of a curable ailment and forcing his saving medications on the people walking by rarely bothering to take any himself. Sure, I know when I'm doing something sinful. I can quote 20 verses that tell me "xyz" is sin. I can theologically weasel my way around the conviction these verses bring by telling myself that God forgives everything no matter what as long as I confess it to Him. I can point out the place in the scripture that plainly states that putting into practice this loophole of grace is evil, but does this knowledge ever impact my life in a meaningful way?
The truth is, I'm a wreck. I'm a liar, a fraud, a fake, a kleptomaniac, a wicked and proud piece of crap who loves putting himself above others because I think they know less than I do. And you know what? God has smacked me in the face this summer so hard with these truths about myself that I'm still reeling. There are guys here with only a teaspoon of the theological information I possess, but they are miles ahead of me in their spiritual walk. While I stumble around and trip over my own pride and arrogance, they stride confidently as men of grace, integrity, genuine agape love, and selflessness. They have servant hearts and caring souls, and I don't. Are they perfect? Not by a long shot. Are they more Godly than I am? You bet. As I run around my life mistaking my undeniable apathetic nature for "trust in God", believing my spiritual and physical gifts are something to be proud of and not even considering the One who gave them to me, using God's holy scripture to arrogantly score myself spiritual points in everyday conversations, and all around being a sick and disgusting hypocrite about it all.
Example? We'll go with the kleptomaniac tendency I accused myself of earlier. For two years or more I stole every song, movie, video game, software program, operating system, television series, book, comic, and whatnot I wanted from the internet. Call it piracy, call it "doing what everyone else does", call it whatever you like. The truth is, I did not pay for ANY of it, and therefore I stole it. The night God convicted me of this was one I'll never forget. The group was doing a student-led 20 minute "waiting on the Lord" prayer which I entered into with an open mind but was bored with at about the 5 minute mark. Suddenly I got this random urge to look at the contents of my 500 gb external harddrive I had purchased a few years back. So, after the prayer time, I went back to my room and started sorting through it. Folder after folder, file after file, application after application, God confronted me with the evidence. The verdict was undeniable. Hundreds and hundreds of DVD rips, fifty or so stolen books, several pricey software programs, thousands of stolen songs, etc. Doing the math, I figured that I had close to, if not slightly over, $10,000 worth of stolen material that I carried with me pretty much wherever I went for two straight years, and I'm a bible study leader? I'm suppose to be a tool that God can use back at Iowa? I'm going to eventually make my living preaching the gospel of Christ? What a joke this God of mine must be if He is willing to choose me for his work... (I have since deleted the entire contents of my harddrive and repented. How could I not after being faced with that kind of incrimination against my soul? However, even with the overwhelming conviction, I still had one of the most intense spiritual battles I have ever been through just to click the confirming delete button.)
Funny that I used to be proud about how long I've been a Christian. Phhhhttt.... There are boys here in Ocean City that have walked in the power of the Holy Spirit a tenth of the time I have (if that), and yet they are far my spiritual superiors in just about every sense but my stupid head knowledge. I have, for the first time in my life, felt dwarfed by the guys I encounter every day. All I can say right now, is that if you are a man on my project reading this, I feel so honored that God would choose me to stand amongst a witness of your caliber. I praise God and feel so blessed for every conversation, every accepting smile, every awkward hug, and every moment I can continue to stand in your presence, ashamed as I am of my weakness. I have heard many metaphors about good Christian men reflecting the light of God's glory, and right now, your luminosity is overwhelming me. Thank you.
"If I am tall, it is only because I am standing on the shoulders of giants." - a hybrid of a quote by Sir Isaac Newton