Author's note:I am privileged to celebrate my rebaptism on May 21, the same day I was born; Over the last several years, I have developed a habit of sharing a lesson(s) that Jesus taught me between my spiritual birthdays. If you're interested in reading the previous three, here they are.
My upbringing is very mixed. Equal parts liberal and equal parts conservative, I have a confusing and at times contradictory worldview that is all too millennial in nature.
Something that I can't quite figure out at the moment is how to appreciate things as they are while pursuing greater degrees of wholesomeness. It is a Christian thing to be grateful; the Father gives good gifts and I live a fantastic life.
But it is also a Christian thing to do to strive for more wholesomeness; we are called to discipline our bodies and minds to be better disciple of Jesus. The Spirit beckons us to better days and times. And oh how I long to be pure and holy and all those other things my Last Generation Theology friends preach.
I often lean towards frustration because of how human I am. I'm more likely to be irritated and angry at the fact that I'm NOT pure and I'm NOT holy and perfect than to be grateful for how faithful Jesus and how He's not done with me yet.
When I make mistakes, I feel like I should suffer and be punished. If God sends a good thing my way and I make a mistake, I feel like that good thing should go away and never come back because I clearly don't deserve it.
It's as small as feeling like maybe I shouldn't do anything film related anymore because I fell apart in one class and disappointed a professor, or as big as wanting to chuck out my relationship because I got upset and didn't use appropriate conflict resolution techniques.
Fatalism is a disease. And it is a mode of thinking that can't be justified by scripture.
How many biblical characters made mistakes in the midst of God throwing blessings in their laps?
Recently, I decided I will practice expressing gratitude. I know God is taking me to better places and better situations and to greater wholesomeness. I trust Him and I know this is all part of the process so I'm gonna be thankful. I don't have to worry.
As Martin Luther King Jr said, I've been to the mountaintop. I've seen what awaits me, and I'm not worried about anything anymore. God is faithful and God doesn't abandon.
I know I'm a sinner. I know I'm imperfect and all too human. I know I've got a ways to go, but I know the Lord is at my side taking me there—wherever and whatever there is.
If Kanye West and Lil Chano from 79th can express deep trust in the Lord's presence and enduring grace through their music, then why can't I do so? What do they know about God's goodness that I don't?
I'm done fighting the generosity of the Father. He makes it rain on the just and unjust alike; blessings keep falling in my lap and I'm done over analyzing and navel gazing.
I'm ready to celebrate Him. And I don't know if that's conservative or liberal of me but frankly, I don't care.