Monday, September 20, 2010

A Whole Lot of Drivel

*Part Two of the Radical Read-Along with Marla Taviano
When I get truly overwhelmed with something – whether my work load, my schedule, my emotions or just life in general – I have a tendency to switch into a kind of inactive denial mode. This of course does nothing but intensify the problem (as things continue to pile up) and does not deal with the core issue (whether lack of planning, being over-committed, or needing to face some deep, emotional struggles). But when I don’t feel that I can face those difficult situations, I just completely shut down.  

After reading chapter two in Radical, I am feeling that desire to shut down creep back into my life. At the same time, I am (perhaps for the first time) ready to admit how often I’ve let this over-whelmed inactivity take hold of my spiritual growth and my response to the Bible.

“We don’t like what we see of ourselves in the gospel, so we shrink back from it.”  (Radical, page 31)

How true this has been in my own life! How much of the Bible I have ignored because it was too hard, or it didn’t make sense (but I was too lazy and disinterested to seek an answer) or it made me realize how wretched I am (which, instead of causing me to depend on God more, would spawn denial).

“The gospel reveals eternal realities about God that we would sometimes rather not face. We prefer to sit back, enjoy our clichés and picture God as a Father who might help us, all the while ignoring God as a Judge who might damn us. Maybe this is why we fill out lives with the constant drivel of entertainment in our culture – and in the church. We are afraid that if we stop and really look at God in his Word, we might discover that he evokes greater awe and demands deeper worship that we are ready to give him.” (Radical, page 29)

There are so many things that I use to distract myself from what the gospel tells me my response to God and to Christ should be –  namely reading novels, perusing the Internet and watching movies. Oftentimes, I justify this empty entertainment with excuses of “boredom” or the need to “vedge out.” But hold on there – if I’m seeking after God with all my whole heart, mind and soul, then there shouldn’t be room in my life for boredom! There shouldn’t be the need to vedge out when my soul is being refreshed through resting in God’s presence. 

Am I ready to give God the awe and worship He deserves? I want to say, “yes,” but I feel my heart hesitating. My “deceitfully wicked” heart is shrinking back from the full truth of the gospel. I don’t know what to do, especially when I know that there is nothing I can do. I’m a doer by nature and I’m struggling with this paradox. I guess what I can “do” is to ask God to change my heart, to draw me to Him and pray that He will prepare me to be able to handle what I discover in His presence. I also need to devour the Word of God like the believers Platt mentions in chapter two. If I truly want to follow God, I need to know Him better, which would mean I'd need to spend some desperate time with Him. This is one area of change I can start with. But will I? That is the question I keep wrestling with.

I'm having a hard time articulating all this, I know. I'm sorry that I'm so muddled. All I really know at this point is that I don't want things to stay the same. My issue is that don't know what "not the same" looks like yet.


  1. I understand where you are coming from - I had the same response to Crazy Love. I know change is needed, but I don't know what it looks like, so I stick with the known. I guess that's where faith and trust come in. Sometimes God has to put you in a place to just trust Him, not really knowing what will come of it (which can, frankly, be quite terrifying).

    I experienced a bit of that on a missions trip to Burundi and Kenya with my 13 y.o. daughter this past January. The pastor we were traveling to Burundi with was held up in the states - and we were the only ones from our team who made it to Burundi. All we could really do was trust God since we knew no French or Kirundi. God provided and really showed his sovereignty in all the delays - some good stories there, too long to tell here.

    And then I got a stomach bug on our last day in Burundi and for the first several days in Kenya. Once again I had to trust God to get me through. And He did and I learned to rejoice in my infirmities like Paul (2 Corinthians 12:9).

    Sad to say that back in the states it didn't take long to get back to the "comfortable" way things were. Though I must admit that even though I am not entirely comfortable anymore I am still reluctant to change not knowing what it looks like...

  2. I don't know what "not the same" looks like either! :)

  3. You articulated just fine- I completely understand how you feel and relate. Desiring change but not knowing if you can handle the change because no one has shown you the map yet. I ask God all the time for a road map, or just a glimpse ahead- maybe the next bend or fork in the road. We just have to trust and surrender and that is where the true faith comes in. Praying for you on this journey!

  4. Great post! Chapter 2 seemed so much more personal I guess.

  5. Your post makes complete sense and I can really identify...I have spent much time in denial-mode myself. Thank you so much for sharing. I a praying alongside you that God will draw me to Him, prepare me for whatever is next and trust Him to make it clear. Thank you.

  6. I'm there with you on what "not the same" is supposed to look like. I want to different...but struggling to know where to start, and where to draw the line. Thanks for sharing your heart...I look forward to reading more from you. Praying that we figure out what to change for the glory of God!

  7. "But hold on there – if I’m seeking after God with all my whole heart, mind and soul, then there shouldn’t be room in my life for boredom! There shouldn’t be the need to vedge out when my soul is being refreshed through resting in God’s presence."

    Loved this line!!! Very true. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  8. Oh, man. I so totally understand what you're saying here. I'm teetering right on the edge of that line right now with what God is showing me, and working through the same feelings you pointed out.

    I don't know what God's going to do throughout this read-along, but I'm pretty sure it's gonna be big, if we let Him lead us.

  9. I'm in the middle of Ch. 2 right now and I feel much the same way you do. For me, right now, I think 'radical' Christian living is just making the decision to spend more time with God. I need to know Him and His Word better and before I take on the world.

  10. I totally understand your sentiments, as mine are so similar. I am excited and passionate about making some real and radical changes but afraid of the consequences. Glad to be journeying through this with you!


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