Monday, September 20, 2004


Commitments. I've found that when I have more and more commitments in my life, I have less and less complaints about my shortcomings or any sense of emptiness. But I wonder sometimes if that's actually because I've made myself useful and, well, basically been a better person and "made a difference" or if I just don't feel some of the things I felt before, because I'm more distracted by all the things I have to do. I'm not really worring about it or complaining about it, I just hope I'm getting it right a little more, instead of just "keeping busy," so to speak.
Sometimes I'm not sure if I really know how it is I want to affect other people in my life. I know I want to love them, be humble and selfless and all that. But I've really kind of lost the whole evangelical approach to "my neighbor" that I grew up with. Trying to get people to come to Jesus or to grow in their faith has taken a back seat, and I don't even know how I feel about that. Well, I might be able to identify my feelings, which are rather indifferent, but I'm not sure how I should feel. These are things that were very much a part of what the apostles and many who have loved God most strongly have wanted to affect in the lives of other people. But it seems like it was a part of their sincere love for these people that they wanted these things, not just out of some strong, zealous, moral duty. It was because they knew the joy and greatness of following Jesus. That's what prompted them to tell others about it. And today, I'm not sure if people really know it. They claim they do. They tell you how great it is. But many of them, I am reasonably sure, have experienced less of the joy, peace, freedom, love, and glory of God than I have, and I do not feel adequate to really express confidence in my own experience of it. I have a faith that holds me to it, but not enough experience, in my point of view, to hold others to it. I believe in it, but I do not believe I have attained even half of the life and spirit of God that Peter or Paul attained. How can I share such a faith? How can I persuade others of its validity. The fact that I believe it and strive to live it does not validate it. I just believe, and I do not doubt that my communion with the Almighty is real. But I can't really tell you why. I can't really say, "Well, there was this one time in my life when God really convinced me of his existence and his calling. Let me tell you about it..." I can't even stand thinking about such a thing right now. It feels so contrary to the nature of my faith and to my perspective on life and truth and all that. So I don't know.