|straight from the heart...
||[Jun. 15th, 2007|07:25 pm]
|[||::this is me::
|[||::guess what I hear::
Not long after I graduated from high school, i found myself leading a small college group at a large church. i cherished the role, at first because it was one of honor. i studied the bible for hours, putting together talks that the students enjoyed. it started as a substitute job. the college ministers couldn't be there one week and they asked me to fill in. when i was asked to speak again, i jumped at the chance. pretty soon i was teaching all the time. i swam in the attention and the praise, i loved it, i lusted after it, i almost drowned in it.
the more attention i got, the stranger i became. i was on my way to having my own religious talk show. ok, that's a bit much, but you know what i mean. i was a smiler, a hand-shaker, a baby kisser, and a speech giver. i said things like "God be with you" and 'Lord bless you". i used cliches like a bad novelist. i led the college group for a couple of years and enjoyed it at first, but it wasn't long before i felt like a phony. i got tired of myself. i didn't like to hear my own voice because it sounded like a talk-show host.
one afternoon i made an appt with my pastor and told him i was leaving, that i was going into the world to get my thinking straight.
"How long will you be gone?" he asked
"i don't know" i shrugged
"are you ok?"
"i think so. maybe". i told him.
"can you talk about it?" he looked concerned.
"no, not really".
"i understand you need a break. why don't you take a couple weeks off".
"i was thinking longer".
"i dunno. can you put a time limit on these things?"
"what things, don?"
"i don't know." i told him, sort of staring out the window.
"can you tell me how you feel?"
"no. i've tried to put the words to it, you know, but i can't. i'm just really tired. mentally drained. i feel like i'm jumping through hoops or something. i don't fel like god is teaching through me. i feel like i'm a fake person, you know. i say what i need to say, do what i need to do, but i don't really mean it."
"what does the real you want to say and do?"
"i don't know. that's what the trip is about".
"are you having a crisis of faith?"
"maybe. what is as crisis of faith?
"do you believe in God?"
"yes, i want to go on a trip with Him".
"you aren't having any doubts at all?"
"no. i don't have any doubts about God or anything; it's just me. i feel like i am constantly saying things i don't mean. i tell people they should share their faith, but i don't feel like sharing mine. i tell people they should be in the Word but i'm only in it because i have to teach the Word. i said to a guy the other day, "God bless you" what does that mean? then i started thinking about all the crap i say. all the cliches, all the parroted slogans. i have become an infomercial for God and i dont' even use the product. i don't want to be who i am anymore."
"so you think you should go away?"
"where will you go?"
"we are in america now don"
"yeah, i know. but tehre are other parts to america. i'd like to see the other parts. i was looking at a map the other day, you know, and texas was sort of brown with some green, a few hills, but then there were other places that were more green with big lumpy mountains. i'd like to see those places"
"do you think God is out there somewhere? out there in the lumpy places?"
"i think God is everywhere."
"then why do you have to leave?"
"because i can't be here anymore. i don't feel whole here. i feel, well, partly whole. incomplete. tired. it has nothing to do with this church; it's all me. something got crossed in the wires, and i became the person who i should be and not the person i am. it feels like i should go back and get the person i am and bring him here to the person i should be. are you following me at all? do you know what i am talking about, about the green lumpy places?"
the conversation went on like this for an hour. i went on and on about how the real me was out in the green lumpy places. i wasn't making any sense...
i think it's time i go out to my own green lumpy places...