I've kind of always had it in my head that my testimony was a bit on the weak side. Didn't the influential modern saints have some tragedy that they lived through, or didn't they get caught in some sin that they triumphed over? God does it like this so that when other people say "well, why do you follow Christ?", they have a heartfelt story to tell. Aren't God's stories the most beautiful anyway?

Well, when I became a Christian, I was a quiet preacher's kid. I didn't do drugs, I didn't have sex, both of my biological parents are still happily married to each other. I was at a youth retreat in Birmingham and when I came home, I was baptized because I fell in love. 

Sometimes it sneaks up on me, then, that my faith might still be fresh out of spiritual kindergarten, right there with the new converts, the gentiles, and Simon the sorcerer. We might be a bit obtuse, you know? We might try to buy the Holy Spirit and sometimes we have to repeat ourselves three times until people believe us. And if someone asked me personally about Jesus the only thing I could talk about was love and not really any big way that I had screwed up or got screwed up. 

It follows, logically then, that my weaknesses are the quieter ones, those of bitterness and apathy. I see them throw the huge parties for the prodigal and I just kind of scowl. Maybe I don't want to come inside and join the party. I don't eat very much meat anyway.  

I think that the willingness within me is clouded by the fact that I fear that I am ineffectual without the testimony of critical brokenness. Or, at least broken as far as the world is concerned. And, here, I nearly tread Pharisaical grounds! But I am not saying I am not broken; I am just broken in a way that the fundamentalist church would probably deem "safe". No, I am quite broken. The millenials, however, wouldn't touch me with a ten foot pole. They would say I am nonintellectual, lacking both true faith due to mine's untested nature and, of course, empirical evidence for a greater power.  And thus, neatly, tidily, my "safe" upbringing renders me ineffectual to everyone except perhaps the only demographic I am disillusioned with. 

But I'm getting away from that poisonous thinking, thankfully.

Sometimes I think it takes a bigger person than I really am to gulp my pride down and realize how much of a blessing it is to have dwelled in God's house for my whole life.

I think, recently, that this is what God has tried to show me, that steadiness has its place, that more people respect it than I realize, and that my testimony is more powerful than I had thought. It takes a lot of faith to really believe that, but I've got to believe it. There needs to be some way that I embrace that, and also let my bitterness dissipate and let myself exist sweetly in the soul. I suppose this can be an example of faith in some complicated way.

What was it that the father said to the elder son, anyway? Oh yes... 

'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.'

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