When today’s Christianity ain’t cuttin’ it
I don’t read my Bible enough. I don’t pray enough. And honestly, most days, I’m probably not nice enough (at least on the inside where my irreverent, mean girl lives). If the standard church-going Christian were to perch on my windowsill and watch A Day in the Life of Emma Dawn, they would be sorely disappointed in their choice of Christian entertainment for the day. Undoubtedly, they would sneer at the inadequate and shaky opening and justifiably ask themselves where the protagonist’s “quiet time” for the day was. Clicking of tongues might echo upon seeing that the majority of the weekend episodes involve Emma Dawn’s stretchy pant embraced rump reclined in the bed munching plantain chips, sipping too-creamered coffee while consuming reruns of Project Runway. (Shawn in season 13…yes, girl!) And most probably, they would walk away disheartened at the ending; she didn’t even say her nighttime prayers or pray over her son before bedtime! Were they reading Harry Potter?! Disappointment. Rotten Tomatoes. Tons of them. I may even sneak a handful of rot and shove it in my own face. I do SO want to be a “good” Christian.
But here’s the problem. I am me.
I work 50–70 hours a week. I come home just in time to either eat whatever my man has prepared or whatever we can pick up quickly (bad mom alert). I’m emotionally spent and doing all I can to simply not screech at everyone I’ve birthed. Most days, I feel like a champ when I’m able to smile instead of go T-Rex on the one who says for the 50 millionth time he wants pizza for dinner instead of what’s been prepared (or purchased). I mean, my standards for myself at this point rank right above what I would expect from a toddler at a computer program coding convention. Just do what you can, honey.
So, am I a “bad” Christian? Maybe.
But I’m so tired of living my life for the standards of other people. I’m sick of trying to fit into a mold I’m not even sure is in the Bible. I’m almost physically nauseous at the thought of trying to go one more day checking off the items on the list of what many Christians think it takes to be “good”. That brand of faith is just so . . . plastic. Formulaic.
And I feel done. I want to read my Bible because I want to, not because I’m expected to. I want to pray to talk to God instead of to fill a quota for the day. I want to live radically and vibrantly out of the grace I’m experiencing from Jesus instead of simply falling in line trying to perform the way I think he might want me to.
And I want to NOT CARE what churchy people think about it all.
I don’t want to be churchy. That’s probably a “bad” Christian thing to say. But I want to be more like John the Baptist and less like the religious leader. John was so rough around the edges. He was a weirdo, man. He ate bugs, dressed in burlap (right?) and lived in the wilderness. But, dang, he loved Jesus. Everyone looked at him like he was a little nutty I bet, but guess who was free? My man, John. He wasn’t trying to perform or do it “right” or be “good”. He was simply completely caught up in the gospel and its Giver and couldn’t help but live out of the freedom and grace they bestowed.
That’s where I want to be, and that’s where I’m headed. Churchy folk, step aside. I love you, but I don’t want to be you. Please accept my apology if my resolve looks like rejection, but I’m done. I’m purging the plastic and moving into the malleability of naked, wobbly faith in Jesus — imperfections, failures and all. I’m not even sure what that means or looks like, but it’s so attractive to me. You’re more than welcome to join me. In fact, I’m begging you to. Aren’t you tired and done too?