I’ll never really be cool, I guess.
It seems like there are two Christian camps. In one, you have to go to church all the time (including all the extra meetings that don’t happen on Sunday—and the extra ones that do), you are “happy all the day” like that song that makes me want to cringe says (and if you’re not, you sure as heck don’t tell anyone), you use terms like “saved” and “transgression” and “sanctification” (hey wait, I use those), and you pray and see miracles because if you don’t, you don’t have enough faith.
In the other one, you struggle. Horrible things have happened to you and you’re honest enough about them that you can’t be happy all the day, so church doesn’t do it for you and you don’t go, and faith is something suspect that you more or less apologise for.
If you’re in one camp, you look at the other ones and scarcely call them Christians, and in the other, you look across the way and see a bunch of repressed liars. But what happens if you’re in both? I gravitate toward the second group. I like to say things like, “I fight with God all the time.” This makes me feel like, even though the worst thing that’s ever happened to me is unrequited love (and maybe it wasn’t really the worst thing, in the end), I have some sort of battle wounds, and maybe I’m more genuine than some of the people I go to church with.
Only the thing is, I actually go to church. And I like it. I go to Bible study, too, and I like that. And even though most of what I fight with God about is the fact that my biggest prayers never “come true” the way I want them to, I still believe that praying is important, and that in some way I can’t comprehend, it matters, and it makes things happen. It drives me nuts when people talk about the Bible as if it’s easy to grasp and as if everyone should be able to see that obviously it’s the true Word of God. On the other hand, I believe it is the true Word of God. I read my Bible, and I believe it, and even though it’s trendy to talk about inconsistencies in it, I really don’t think there are that many, in spite of the fact that it’s hard for me to understand everything in there, and sometimes I fight with God about that, too. (This is probably something like working for the biggest coffee corporation there is, having no intention of quitting any time soon, and yet hating the idea of big corporations taking over the world. Not that God is a big corporation. Although some might say He is. Anyway, that’s another topic, I guess.)
I feel like I would be lying if I said following Jesus was easy for me. But I’d also be lying if I said it was really all that hard. I believe in Jesus, and who He is, and what He’s done for me, and even though it’s hard for me to trust Him all the time, and even though I feel like sometimes I’m just saying words about Him, and His presence with me is about as real as an imaginary friend's(or less), and I’m not really “following” anybody but a set of ideas I grew up with, still, it doesn’t mean He isn’t actually there, leading me anyway. It’s gotta be kind of irritating for Him sometimes, though. It’s sort of nuts to find following trends easier than following Someone who died to save my life.