Welcome back, beloved readers. After the harrowing twist-turn I put you through last time, I'm glad you came back. Because I have something to share with you.
The last few days have been a difficult period of adjustment for me, and the next few will probably not differ much from the last few. You see, my period of repentance has actually, tangibly begun. And it hurts. I kid you not. This is an incredibly painful time. But then again, no one ever said dying was a pleasant experience. Just ask our Lord.
First, let's rewind and re-cap briefly. I made my confession of Jesus as Lord and invited him into my life on November 9, 2007. On that day, I supposedly died to my worldly life and was reborn as a new creation in Christ. Who supposed that? Oh, yeah, I did. Well, I'm a newbie, so you'll have to bear with me. After all the whole point of this blog is to chronicle my journey with our Saviour, noting milestones and way markers along the road. Well, I hit a milestone and thought you should know. Since my conversion from Green Witch to Christ Follower, I have been immersed in the true Word of God, and also in the world, chock full of false teachings and skewed Christian philosophy. TV, radio, Internet, literature. Unsure of which parts to believe and which to reject, I tend to lean on my church leaders for clarity, sometimes I think to the point where they're probably soon going to refer me to the deacons because I place such a heavy demand on them. Just kidding. They're great people. Wise, humble and patient men whose guidance has been invaluable, and who, without the Lord, could very well have been me.
So, once I converted, I assumed logically that I was already a new creation. I've been told by a good friend that I have a keen spiritual insight. As a result, I jumped right in and started soaking in all the church activities I could: I attended two Promise Keepers men's conferences, I've taken up learning to play piano again and have considered joining a worship team. I've preached a sermon, spoken in public a few times, ministered to friends and evangelized to co-workers. I pray all the time and believe that every last word of the Bible is the truth. And all that is about ME. Yep, I didn't know it, but I had reverted to an old pattern of behaviour. Lacking the adoration of the Beloved Son from my earthly father, I had become accustomed to garnering praise from others, be they friends, family, associates, co-workers or more recently, my brethren in the church. Not to say that in doing these activities I had no intention of doing God's will, or revealing His glory to the world. On the contrary, that was my primary objective to start with, but then I go and louse it up by sharing my experiences with everyone who'll listen, and suck up the praise. I occasionally need a reminder to be humble.
And at heart, I really am. More than you might think. See, when I was a child, my dad wasn't exactly proactive about raising his son. Any attempts to get his attention were generally met with a snarl of, "Go outside and play," or "Find something to do," and were only rarely acknowledged at all except with anger or the three or four paltry attempts at showing fatherly affection for me while he was plastered. The rest of the time, I remained rarely seen and even more rarely heard. All the while I was shepherded by my mom who, although she tried her best, could not instill in me those qualities that can only be endowed by a father, or better still a group of men. As you can imagine, I grew up scared of everything, protected and sheltered from everything, and unsure of myself. I believed, as my dad once told me, that all I could do was "shit and fall in it." (Again, pardon the language, but that's what he said...) My mom tried to build my confidence, saying I was smart, kind, caring and honest, but I was a wimp and I knew it. I was angry. All the time. I was just too scared to vent it. So I let it out by doing nice things and sucking up the adulation.
In my teens I spent a lot of time reading, or playing it safe with the few bookworm friends I had. Most of our adventure and excitement was found in the realm of Dungeons and Dragons. There I got to be a hero, a warrior, and at one point even a god. My grades suffered, of course, but school held little interest for me. In school, I was a wallflower. In D&D, I was a force to be reckoned with.
Anyway, I'm straying from the topic. What I need to say is that the other day, an event occurred which triggered the onset of true repentance, and the renovation of my heart. My father came by the house for a quick visit. The conversation was light, as usual, because my dad usually doesn't let it get too deep. But then I somehow felt the need to challenge him with regard to his poor opinion of certain people, and a small argument ensued. But he knew I was right. He then said he was done arguing, and that he raised my brother and I, and that we both have jobs and that's all he cares about.
At that point, I knew that my father was lost to me. Because he is still scared. His father treated him worse than he treated me. He's been a scared little boy inside for longer than I've been alive. And since a fatherless child can't properly raise a son, my mom was left to muddle through. He worked crazy hours, bags of overtime and was rarely home when I was. It was only after my mom had enough and divorced him that he turned to me for a relationship. It was OK for a while, but once he remarried and had a stable home again, he stopped trying. I was forced to accept who he was and deal with it, and of course, being afraid of confrontation, I just lived and let live. Nothing got resolved and my wound just festered. But this time it was different. And I knew what my kids had to look forward to if I didn't turn to my real Father and accept his discipline, his love, and his guidance. And the first step is confession of my wound. So here it is. I'm an unfinished man under the tutelage of my heavenly Father, and in the company of His people, and I'm on the path to becoming a good and whole person in Jesus Christ our Lord. I am dying. My old self is dying. Baptism is a symbol of death and rebirth, but it is God who chooses when this will truly occur.
I will therefore finish out the grieving process and press on into new territory. I feel a cleansing taking place as I grieve, and as I confess these things to you, dear readers, the Lord is stripping all the rotten timbers out of my heart and will soon begin the rebuilding process. As these things are realized, my marriage too is greatly improving, although I think my wife is rather enjoying having her husband reduced to a raw, sensitive bundle of emotions, easily confused, easily distracted and easily brought to tears. Like all good meals, this too shall pass, and the healing can begin. So I'll take these last few lines and bless those who stand with me in sight of the Lord, and tell them how blessed I feel that my Father is raising his boy through them. Praise be to Him who brought me to Zurich and interceded as a true Dad to heal my wounds and make me the man he intended for me to be when He made me, and saw that I was good. Amen.
See you next time. Have a blessed week.
See you next time. Have a blessed week.