Faith and (My) Apathy

Honestly, I’m not sure how to start this. I’ve been having these thoughts for quite some time now and, with the exception of one person, I’ve never shared this with anyone.

I am a Christian and trust me when I say that my family is as Christian as it can possibly get. In case you need proof, when we were kids, my siblings and I would have daily devotions with our grandmother during the summer. Every night, the whole family reads one chapter from the book of Proverbs and says a prayer before having dinner – we’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember. I go to church twice a week, on Sundays and Saturdays and I am a Sunday School teacher. These are just a few things.

I’ve been told by a lot of people that I’m lucky to have been born into such a family, to have been brought up the way I have, to have had that kind of childhood. And to an extent, yes, I do agree with them. To be honest, I like the kind of person I turned out/am turning out to be and my faith has a lot to do with it.

But then there are times when apathy sinks in and I turn into this Christian robot. I let my mind wander off when I’m in church. Sometimes, I even have the balls (figuratively, of course) to take out my phone and start playing Subway Surfer while the pastor is talking. I pray a prayer that I’ve said a gazillion times and had completely memorized in my head. I rarely read the Bible and if ever I do find the energy to read, I only read it for the sake of being able to say that I did.

A part of me thinks that this is because of how I was brought up. You know, you’re taught very early on that you should pray and read the Bible every day, that Sunday should be spent at church and that doing otherwise is a sin. So you pray, you read the Bible and you go to church. For someone like me who’s been doing this routine since childhood, it’s so easy for it to become just that – a routine or, at times, a chore. You start to do these things because you know it’s what you’re supposed to do – not because you actually want to.

Earlier, a pastor from church said that at the moment we accept God and believe in Him, our mind, our heart and our soul are renewed for Christ.

And I thought, “What moment?”

I’ve accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, that I am sure of. But if you ask me to tell you when that happened, I won’t have an answer because all my life, that’s what I’ve believed in.

You’ve all read or heard stories of how people experienced that big life-changing moment that caused them to drop everything and turn to God, right? Well, I’ve never had that.

I’m pretty sure I sound idiotic and foolish when I say that there are times when I feel like that would be better. To grow up not being taught everything that you needed to know, but finding them out one by one as you get older. To start out lost so that you can know what it feels like to be found. To see Him as a stranger at first and then experience Him making Himself known to you. To be an unbeliever at the beginning so that you can eventually become a believer purely by choice and not by birth.

To have that big life-changing moment when everything suddenly clicks and you’re left with nothing but this mind-blowing and heart-stopping realization that God is all you have and all you need.

I’m struggling, obviously. But I try. When I feel like I’m starting to get sucked into the tempting and oh so convenient lifestyle of mechanical worship and an impassive relationship with God, I talk to Him (usually in the bathroom and, no, I don’t know why) about everything. It gets better afterward. I still experience relapses every now and then but the intervals are longer than before.

I’m not so sure what the point of this post is anymore, honestly. I guess I just needed to sit and write this all down just to get it out of my system. I must say though that right now, I feel my relationship with Him has just gotten better.

It would be reassuring to know I’m not the only one who’s had this kind of thoughts. It would also be so nice and helpful to hear from you, regardless of whatever it is you feel like saying – advice, thoughts, experiences, sermons and whatnot.

“He must become greater, I must become less.” -John 3:30

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4 thoughts on “Faith and (My) Apathy

  1. supashmo November 14, 2012 / 6:57 pm

    Hi, you asked for my thoughts and I have some comfort for you:
    Me, too. Your life sounds like a mirror of mine. I, too, grew up in a strong Christian family and like you, I do not remember exactly when I accepted Christ as my savior. It’s crippling to say so because of everybody’s wonderful conversion stories. I wish I had that, because they seem so much stronger in their faith. To me, it feels like old hat sometimes.
    But everyone who has those conversion stories envies the lives of you and me. They wish they’d known from the start. They say we have avoided some of the serious pitfalls of life and we aren’t suffering the consequences for it. It’s hard to picture sometimes, but I suppose they’re right. We’ve been protected (to a degree, we’re still human).
    Admitting the routine is confession, and confession is healing because like you said, it gets it off our chest and into God’s hands. The only advice I have to to deliberatley shake things up. If you say the same prayer every day or every Sunday, stop and find something new to pray. Make every single prayer different, make it real, whatever’s on your heart, even if it’s nothing. For Bible reading, find a subject that interests you, or a book study.
    And most of all, ask God to shake things up. Beware: he will, but sometimes the shaky stuff winds us up on more solid ground than we started.
    You’re not a bad Christian. You’re just real. And so am I.

    • Kathryn G November 15, 2012 / 6:42 am

      Thank you so much. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. This isn’t exactly easy to share to your friends and church pastors who’ve seen you grow up in the church, especially with a deeply spiritual family like mine. I once tried opening up to one of the youth leaders and I got the feeling he took it as me rebelling. Anyway, your words are definitely reassuring and, more importantly, encouraging. So thank you. Really..

      • supashmo November 15, 2012 / 7:08 pm

        It can be scary to admit those kinds of things, but if we as Christians can’t be open and honest (as Christ says to be), then we’re only lying to ourselves and others. Confession is a good thing. I mean Jesus is fond of it, so we should be, too.

      • Kathryn G November 16, 2012 / 12:57 pm

        I couldn’t agree more. I’m trying something new right now as a way to, as you said, shake things up. I realized how I’m better at writing down my thoughts and feelings instead of saying them out loud. So yesterday I started, I guess you can call it a prayer journal. It’s a Dear Diary kind of thing except I switched it to Dear God. I’m hopeful.

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