The day before Easter, I became a Christian for realz.
So there you go. Yahoo.
I feel like dear old Lord Peter (yes, I am obsessed at the moment), minus the exceedingly good brains, tendency to reckless driving and endless wealth. He's says he's not such a fool as he looks - I hope I'm more serious than I seem. I tend to laugh at myself all the time, and consequently have trouble taking, or presenting myself seriously. Even telling my parents about this was a difficult, stammering affair. (Though, why I was so nervous I don't know. They were dears about it, and I didn't get a bit embarrassed.) But I am rather serious about this, though bursting with happiness at the same time. It's a different kind of laughter.
I've been one of those sad little "cultural Christians" for years. Going to church, singing songs and feeling like a sham all the time. I'm glad I'm done with all that. I look back in my diary and see the old me, a big blob of hopelessness and self-obsession. I'm sorry I lived like that for so long. If a person had really looked at me and said, "she is a Christian", Christianity would not have looked very nice or satisfying.
It seemed strange, when I first really started trying to turn my focus towards God, trying and praying that I could begin to die to myself, that life suddenly became much simpler and less stressful. Though, now I think about why it's less stressful, it makes sense. I worry less about finding the ideal job (which, deep down, I know doesn't exist) because I know - and I mean know - that if my purpose is to glorify God, it doesn't matter much where I am so long as I'm doing it the best I can. Finding the best way, or the place that will best facilitate living out that purpose is the question. I suppose it's one of the questions Christians should never stop asking themselves. Certainly, I'd like and I ought to try to find a job I enjoy where I can use the talents I've been given - but if I became a paraplegic tomorrow, my purpose wouldn't change. My life would not be ruined.
I am very satisfied. Weirdly, exhilaratingly so.
I know saying I must, " die to myself" is very easy, and doing it is very hard. But I also know I will waste my life if I don't try.
One thing's for sure - when writers talk about how, after you become a Christian and really try to buckle down and live like one, you begin to realize fully how messed up you are. At least, it has happened to me. Trying to be good has shown me how grouchy, snappish, gossipy and spiteful I really am. It's heartbreaking. I get into the most terrible fusses over the most ridiculous things. Something breaks or is ruined or I gain two pounds, and I go around like a thundercloud, not only making myself more and more unhappy, but trying to make those around me uncomfortable too. I fell that people ought to be much more sorry for me than they are. I hate being passed over or forgotten.
I still turn into a monster when little things upset me. But I'm recognizing it much more quickly, and apologizing when I hurt people. I'm trying, though I know I need to try harder.
C.S. Lewis is marvelous.
"I think all Christians would agree with me if I said that though Christianity seems at first to be all about morality, all about duties and rules and guilt and virtue, yet it leads you on, out of all that, into something beyond. One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of those things, except perhaps as a joke."