I really love church. It’s kind of strange, but I love church so much. I love especially visiting different churches. I haven’t been to a whole lot of churches, but every time I go to a new one, I just totally, and I mean totally, love it. I love Faithful Central Baptist Church in Inglewood, where we had Urban Immersion. It was just so great. I love this other black Pentecostal church in the area, where I went to do research for a class. I love First Pres. in Berkeley, where I went this morning. I love the little Korean church Leo used to go to in St. Louis. I loved Young Nak EM in L.A. I loved EFC, Jelin’s church in Torrance, or around there. I just love it. I always come away blessed. I think what it is is I just love seeing how different people express their worship of God. It’s just a really cool feeling, for me, at least. That there’s so many ways to do it, and one God, and we’re still one, and we can go wherever and really be welcome there.
I found out that there are a bunch of people reading this page whom I didn’t know were. Well there’s something you should know about me. I am an arrogant, pompous, inconsiderate jerk. I really am. I’m not happy about it, and I’m not resigned to it, but I’m honest about it, and that’s really who I am.
And I hate that. I hate it when I find that my true self just comes out like it always does. I hate that I really am, at heart, so arrogant and full of selfish pride. I hate that I am so self-centered. I try so hard to be good, and nice, and humble, and considerate, but that’s the point. I have to try to be all those things. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m putting up this facade all the time, I mean I actually like most people, it’s just that I do have to make an effort to be good, because that’s not who I really am. And I hate that, and I hate it more when I fail to be good, and let my arrogant, self-centeredness show. And it always does.
I wish so often that I was truly, honestly good, like some people I know. There are a few people, we all know them, who just seem to be so fundamentally and honestly good. It’s crazy. At least for me, I envy them so much. How great it must be to just be good like that, to really be good, and not feel like you have to try all the time to be better than you are, and fear that your base self will come through in your interactions with people. It must just be so nice.
Well I think that sometimes. Especially during those times when I’ve messed up again, where my mouth has gotten me in trouble with people, when I’ve hurt people by being, honestly, by being myself, when I’ve let people down or when they’ve been disappointed by who I am. I wish I were really nice. But I’m not.
But when I think about it, I mean, soberly, I really wouldn’t have it any other way. In a screwy way, I’m glad I’m so messed up. Again, not to be satisfied in it, and resigned to it, but for other reasons. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis spends this section I can’t remember it exactly, but I think he was saying how we shouldn’t judge how people are doing, and leave that to God. Because maybe this guy who seems just so messed up really has made so much progress from where he would be, and maybe this girl who just seems so nice has not really done much from where she would be regardless, and it’s God who will reward for what we’ve done. You know, I’m not really sure that’s in the Bible, but I hope it’s true.
But even if it’s not, I’m glad for the way I am. I really believe that one of the primary goals of our walks with God is to see how much we suck, to identify with that woman who washes Jesus’ feet, so overcome with the knowledge of our own sin that we are just totally and completely grateful that Jesus would accept us anyway, rather than the Pharisees who didn’t realize they had anything to be grateful for. And it’s a strange twisted thing, but those very things that keep me from God, my pride, my selfishness; whenever I come to see those things in my life and how pervasive they are, that’s when I feel most grateful that Jesus loves even me and realize how much he has forgiven.
I also believe, well, in the Bible it seems like when people struggle, really struggle with God, they receive something extra. Jacob wrestled with God and received a blessing. Other things. And I really believe that those who struggle will get a blessing in the end, and it’s good to struggle. So I’m glad of it. And also, when you’re so naturally not good like me, you see the progress God has made in you, even though I still mess up so often. So in a way I’m glad I suck, and for the process of being better.
It’s just that the process sucks. And I am sorry if I hurt people in the meantime. I mean, I hate it. I guess I’m just hoping that we can all somehow take joy in that personal struggle to be not who we are, and extend grace and forgiveness as we work out the process.
Umm, sorry for such a strange mymind. I’ll get back to heresy next time. Peace.
Oh wait, one last thing. Reverend Cho’s sermon today was actually a great one, if you could get through the accent and the Koreanness of it. For you who missed it, it was on Daniel, and one of the things that made Daniel special is that unlike most of us, his focus wasn’t on what he would do, but on who he would be; what kind of person he would be. Wow. That is really profound. I hope people appreciated it.