Wednesday, January 26, 2011

mud pies

there's this quote i read by C.S. Lewis a long time ago. every time i see it written i'm amazed how it still impacts me the way it did the first time i read it. it goes like this:

"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

i've been super privileged to have some pretty incredible 'God' conversations these past few months.

one particular evening, my friend asked me if i ever had any doubts. i was surprised at how quickly and with what confidence i said no. we went on to discuss more about what it meant to believe in jesus as the only lord and savior. later that night though, as i was recounting the conversation i remembered how difficult it was for me to accept christianity as the only truth.

growing up, and in high school in particular, i knew of quite a few christians, and i was happy to leave it at that. i had zero interest in what they believed and definitely was not interested in ascribing to their seemingly boring way of life. sure they were nice people, but not something i would ever pursue.

i was different (or so i wanted to believe). i wanted to explore buddhism, and deepak chopra, and a course in miraceles and whatever hot new book oprah decided would change my life. these were the things that would challenge me intellecutaly and light a fire in my soul. i would be enlightened and therefore changed.  but as my second year of college came to a close i realized that nothing had changed.  i still struggled with the same insecurities as always, and wrestled with the same fears that had plagued me for years.  i couldn't help but think there must be more to life than what i was experiencing.

that summer i got a job at uptown espresso.  it was there i met lealah.  as the summer went on, i spent more and more time with her.  we had a lot in common, tattoos, ciggerettes, indie bands, jesus-- clearly we had nothing in common (we still always joke at what an odd couple we are), but somewhow a friendship was forged and it was simply just seeing her life in contrast to mine that made me want to know more about jesus. it wasn't one conversation, or her pressuring me, it was simply me seeing that she just may have that something i had been looking for.  turns out i was right.  

as i threw myself headfirst into christianity, i still had my doubts. it was hard for me to shake those preconvieced notions. i read apologetic books like the case for christ, to help me with the intellectual part of it, and read the bible to get the heart part of it.  it wasn't long before i too was sold out for jesus.  in the cheesiest way possible:)

it was easy to fall in love with jesus back then.  time was on my side.  since i quit partying and sleeping with my boyfriend, i found i had a lot more free time on my hands.  i would spend hours at linnea's reading my bible and just marveling at the word of god.  how could i have ever thought this was boring or irrelevant?  it felt like every single word on those pages was searing my heart in a way i had never known.  i went to bible studies, church events, campus crusade -- you name it, i was there.  i really couldn't get enough of god.  

fast forward a few years and a baby is born.  my daily time with god is drastically cut short.  a year and half later another baby is born and i start writing blogs titled, god who?  clearly my focus had shifted.  i'm suddenly caught up in the world of homemeade baby foods, best teething medicine and what stroller to buy.
when i do actually have those precious few moments all by myself, catching a few winks, or reading a magazine sounds way more appealing than breaking out the good book. with this decrease in god time, comes a decline in a god mindset.  i find myself looking forward to vacations, new cars, home improvement projects, new clothes.  none of these are bad things, but i start to realize the more focus they have in my life, the less satisfied i am.  nothing really feels like enough.  i have become far to easily pleased.

these days, i still don't struggle with doubt- in the sense whether or not what what i believe is true, i struggle more with how to live out the best life god has for me.   like the good father he is, i know god is still there... i'm reminded every sunday when my heart melts in worship and the tears begin to flow.  i'm reminded then and there that true happiness and joy doesn't come in the temporal form, it can only be found in the eternal. i know my walk with christ will continue to change, and i'm hopeful that the best years are yet to come.


Matt said...

after being a Christian all my life and pastor for 6 years , I am full of doubts! I want to believe with all my heart and I do believe in God and believe in Jesus even with doubts but besides that I feel like most of the "religion" I have known is a facade. I think too many Christians arrogantly think they have all the answers when life is just of journey of questions that we can't possibly know. I have seen blessing and sorrow for no apparent reason, bad things and good things happen to all kinds of people deserving and undeserving. I believe God is real and he wants me to love others because he loves me that is about all I know for sure.

katy said...

hi holly. :) i saw the link on fb right now and then i thought i pressed the link but i accidently pressed "like". i am totally new to fb and had no idea i even did it but good thing i did, cause i really did like the post. my relationship with god is so different now since i've had miles. some days i feel so lost in it! i can't seem to get disciplined in any way with my time with him and some days i feel like i fail so badly at this. thanks for making me feel normal.

Anonymous said...

You asked me to write, so I hope you're not mad when I'm the one to say, I don't believe. I can't. I've tried and its just not logical and to me, a little irresponsible. We need to start accepting that when we want to adopt a baby, its because we are amazing loving people, or when a young person dies its not 'just their time' its because that's life. I love all sorts of people with a lot of faith and I will always respect their choose to hold that faith dear, but I'm sorry I won't be 'saved' any time soon...and that's okay. I hope you respect the fact that I post this anonymously not because I'm scared of what you think, but that your friends may ask you to stop talking to me.

Holls said...

Anonymous, you are wild. Please email me personally and let me know who you are so I can send you non-stop religious material... Just kidding! I so appreciate your honesty, but am a bit surprised you would think my friends would not want me talking to you, let alone that I would be mad or upset at you not being 'saved' anytime soon-- that is so far from what I'm trying to achieve. My intention is purely to show that the peace and joy and LOVE that I have experienced is by god's grace alone-- what you or anyone else does with that information is 100% up to you. I look forward to hearing you.

Bryan Stupar said...

I'll bite....after all I know what it's like to write a stellar blog post + get minimal comments...(wink)

That Lewis quote rocks me EVERY time I hear/read it!
The reality of being, "far too easily pleased", is what does it...guilty, I am!