5.19.2011

Fundamentals

I always thought I would become super liberal religiously after I went to college. I thought that I would go and see all these people talking about their faith and I would be this hipster with chacos and talk about the spirit that I could feel in my gut.

What actually happened was that I lost a ton of weight at college, so even if I did feel the spirit it wouldn't exactly be in my gut. College dining aside, I became more conservative in my views of God. I am actually a little intimidated to write about this, because I know a lot of people could disagree. That's cool, take it easy.

When I got to college, I got really worn out by all of this "spirit-moving," feel-y stuff. I remember I went to a small group the second week of school, and the student leader said in a breathy voice "where did you see God today?." People would say "I saw him in nature," or, "I see him in the student body."

I don't really get things like this. Or, I do, but it is very rarely. That day was not one of those days, but I did not want to be a pessimist know-it-all and remark that I didn't see God anywhere; not in the trees or my friends or chapel. I didn't feel like faking it, but I did anyway.

And a lot of these worship services are like emotional events. I am not emotionally touched that often, and even when I am, I do not show it. Forgive my opinions, but I cannot help but sometimes think that a lot of these people worship to have an experience. And I have thought long and hard about this, and I have decided that if God blesses me with spiritual emotion as I present my sacrifice, then praise be. If he does not, which is more often the case then not, praise be anyway; I hope with such incredible desire that my sacrifice is just as pleasing.

To be honest, I think he actually is even more pleased.

I do not know, of course.

It is in this sense that I have become more conservative: I firmly believe that doing what is right is not always accompanied by feel-good warmth (in the gut, of course). I believe it is difficult, and that being righteous is more difficult than being selfish. I have to believe it.

Otherwise, Christianity would be like breathing, and natural, and everyone would be doing it.

So I guess I'm fundamental in that I think I should proceed righteously even when the emotional rewards are absent. I do not think that God has forsaken me when I cannot "feel" him. I pray that grace is sufficient to empower me in these valleys.

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