October 11, 2011

Spend Yourself {Day 10} :: Choose a side

I straddled the equator once. In Ecuador. And it's kind of exciting to be in two places at once. Especially if you're talking about hemispheres. And really it's just cool to say. Truth is, you don't get to experience either place ... not while your feet are planted there on that line.

I pursued the christian life for the next three years like a kid on a dividing line ... one foot in and one foot out. I wanted to work magic and do optical illusions. I wanted to be all-in, in both places.
All things to all people.

Jesus said "choose."

And thank goodness really-- because the half-in life is hard. It brings with it all kinds of conflict and turmoil and hypocrisy and people wondering what the heck you are doing. 

Like the time I traveled with a campus ministry on Spring Break to tell partying college kids about Jesus. Only I was a partying college kid and I didn't know how to hand out tracts on the beach to my "peers." So I snuck next door to the Hilton with a smuggled bikini and a bottle of Banana Boat Deep Tan. I came home with a pierced belly button, no "converted souls" and a really. dark. skin.

And everyone in Panama City seemed committed to a lifestyle that week, except for me.  

I traveled home after that and the conflicted life pulled at my limbs like a fierce undertow and I never knew which way was up ... just kept scraping my back along the floor. I wanted it both ways. I wanted Friday night and Sunday morning. Key West and Intervarsity. The guy in my apartment and the clean conscience.

And we were created by God and for God (Col 1:16) and it makes sense to reason that we won't ever really be satisfied until we walk with God.

And He pursued me like a gentleman riptide: never pulling me under, just inviting me over and over into the current. I responded at times, always making the parallel swim for that line in the sand. Safe in the in-between with no real sacrifice. No real decisions. And all the while I bore the burden of watching, non-believing eyes. I wondered what type of faith I was presenting. I knew full well.    

And God is plenty secure in his identity even when we are not. He is patient and He is committed and He was everywhere I didn't want him to be. Pulling at me in the bar and in the fraternity house and while I cried in my room. He was in the mirror and on the scale and at mile five at 6 a.m.

I encountered him in my messiest places and He became the only place where I could actually breathe. With Him, I could be fully me. Messed up and tired out and not ok. He bowled me over and he lingered on my skin and He stayed on my mind. I wondered just how full the full life could be.   

And after years of trying not to care, trying not to choose ... I waved a white flag and stepped over that line.

1 comment:

  1. ohhhhh I have tears in my eyes---soooo beautiful...so TRUE

    and I have no idea how (??!!!!!) but my heart can SO relate to this-----

    (especially the Panama City part---that just seems so vaguely familiar :) I'm pretty sure that's the only time in my life I purposefully bounced a check...on a Roxy sundress, of course... :) )