written by Rosh Koch
My one hour drive home was rife with vitriol thoughts of downright hatred. I flopped down on my couch with my laptop and angrily smashed at the keyboard to update my Twitter with the news and added two words to the end that were not necessary to share before heading to bed. Imagine how small I felt the next morning when I awoke to check my comments on Facebook, which pulls new status updates from my Twitter, to see a comment from a dear friend, a youth pastor from southern Jersey, that simply said “who are you?”
I sank. Who AM I?
A year and some change ago I could have told you exactly who I was. I was coming off of touring for a nationally known non-profit organization that ended not so well; a a missions trip in South Dakota that crushed my spirit and my thirst; and a tour with a band of friends that opened my eyes to the brokenness of what I had aspired to be.
Upon my return home, I was a crushed man. My soul was crippled and my heart was bitter against the church. Looking back over the last 18 months I had become someone who was nothing like the man typing this article right now; and that scares me. We often hear in church sermons, bumper stickers, and t-shirts that “life is hills and valleys.” You peak one minute and sink the next. The climb up is hard and rewarding, the fall is fast and easy. But when you hit the ground, the sudden impact is excruciating.
The past 15 months have essentially been the time line for my fall. I crashed and burned, and then began to accept my “failure” and “unworthiness.” I tend to make unwarranted excuses and justifications in an attempt to allow my faith to conveniently fit my life as I want it to. But inside I still feel the guilt and shame. Barely does a day go by that I don’t want to bury my head in the ground and pretend that the atheists are right. Pretend for a moment that there is no God that created me, loves me, cares about me – a God who knows what I am compared to what I could be.
It’s amazing how my bitterness against the church, led to a turning away, which led to feeling the guilt and shame of abandonment against my Father. Self realization is the catalyst to righting the ship and correcting the course. I could quote scripture about running races, enduring pain, allowing the world to hate you, not belonging here, being held to a higher standard, etc., but all I really need to remind anyone reading, anyone struggling, anyone trying to hold on, is that no matter what you do, how bad things get, it’s never too late. Grace abounds.
Identify, act, and grow. Do something to enact a change in your life that causes you to move forward with your walk in Christ – or in my case, my stumble. Grace is sufficient. Peace be with you.
“There are days where I’m right where I’m supposed to be
But mostly I am far away
I’m learning to live the way I should
I’m learning to love the way you would
And today it’s been made clear that I’ve walked so far alone
It’s easy to want something more.
But I will dive, closer to you.”
Life in Your Way – Threads of Sincerity