I don’t know what to write about.
I’ve drafted 3 blogs and actually saved two… and something just feels a little off. Truth be told… a lot of things feel off lately. The world has gone to crap. Donald Trump is our new president (it’s legit. even the Electoral College says so. *blinks*) and every time I wake up in the morning, nothing feels really real.
I feel like up to this point in life, I’ve had a general idea of how to live. You read your Bible this way. You greet people that way. You vote this way. You sleep that way. You do your taxes this way. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating about the taxes thing.
But now, at my ripe old age of 27, I feel like I don’t have a grip. Life used to be a nice 30 mph ride down the countryside and all of sudden, I made a wrong turn onto the interstate of Adulthood and everyone else is going 90 mph while I’m still barely sustaining my sad 30.
It’s like I’m constantly trying to play catch up to make it through the day so I can go home and watch Netflix. ((Notice the TRYING to because I legit have no idea how to play this new, Star Wars, Millenial, iWatch version of Life.)) I’m just on autopilot. Ugh.
So here’s the thing.
This crazy whirlwind has very deeply effected my relationship with God. This time last year, I was so on fire. And this time the year before that I was literally burning up with passion for the Lord. But this year, I’m barely maintaining a flicker.
I know what you’re thinking: WHAT?! MONZI?! IS STRUGGLING…SPIRITUALLY?! Yes. It’s a hard pill to admit I’m taking and an even harder pill to swallow. But I made you (my literal 3 followers) and myself a promise that I would always be transparent on this blog*. And my transparent truth: I’m not in a good place with God right now.
I’m not sure how I got here. This year has been both amazing and really stressful. I had some really high highs and really really low lows. But, whenever I would take time out to spend time with the Lord, it didn’t feel right. It seemed just as unfamiliar, just as rushed, and just as cold as the outside world I was trying to escape from. The one Person I knew I could go to for refuge in this crazy life… wasn’t working the way I knew Him to work before.
But God (Who is GOD) is still entitled to my time, worship, and love. He isn’t dependent on how I feel or how my devotional makes me feel. It’s not about me!! The Lord needs to be honored for Who He is regardless of my emotions. But rather than living out what I knew to be true and stepping into this new maturity… I defaulted to what once was. The easy way out. I stopped truly seeking God because I let someone back in. My little, old time, friend whom I hadn’t seen in a long while: Apathy.
Good ole “crazy hair don’t care” Apathy. I knew she was knocking at the door. I thought I could hold her at bay. But, I let her in slowly but surely. Every time I chose Netflix over reading the Word, I opened the door a little wider. Every time I chose sleep over prayer, she inched that much closer. Every time God said “let’s talk about…this” and I said “Nah, I’m good money!” She smiled and sat right next to me.
Point blank: I just simply stopped caring. And while my spirit was dying daily due to lack of proper nutrition, my flesh had a feast on my double chocolate, super fried “Meh”
I could try to justify how I’m so busy with work or how I have a million things to do or how I try my best and how God’s grace covers it all..etc. But in reality: This all started because of one thing. God told me he wanted me to surrender something over to Him. I said “nope. no. thank you but nah.” Need a Millennial Reference?
Me: This was all my fault.
Me to Me: I mean, I had just gotten over my mountaintop of Daddy issues and salvation issues and doubt issues and understand grace issues… Dude: Me and God did a lot. Why did I need to let go of this ONE OTHER THING and deal with stuff that I had pushing down forever and day?! I’M GOOD RIGHT?! …right?!
You know, friend, just because God graciously and miraculously transformed certain areas of my life… doesn’t mean I’m fixed. I will never be “fixed” until Jesus returns and makes me like Him. So until then… I will be a hott mess in need of a healing Savior. Looking back now, it’s because I let God be God in the the BIG stuff in my life that I was reluctant to let Him be the King over ALL of the things. Whether it be because of pride or because of pain, instead of listening to God and allowing Him to continue the sanctification process– I chose disobedience. I chose selfishness. I chose….comfort. And that’s a big no-no-no-no-no in Kingdom living.
Sometimes I think I’m a Olivia Pope. If you don’t know who Olivia Pope is… good for you. You haven’t wasted your time watching (the award winning, but surprisingly annoying after the 3rd season) show Scandal. If you do know who Olivia Pope is… you’ll never get that time back. Sorry, Huck.
Either category… you should know Miss Pope is a fixer. She “handles” stuff and then gets a white horse. Or a white hat. Or a white man? Or all three? There’s something about a white objects and gladiators in that show. Hmmm…
When I refused to let God be God and just let go, I defaulted back to my usual Olivia Pope attitude and started handling things on my own… not realizing, even in my best efforts, my independence from the Lord sucks. Everything seems off… because it is. I only maintain because I’m made to conquer through Him. I autopilot because I’m supposed to be intentional with Him. And I can only go 30mph on the interstate of life, acquiring only temporary happyness, because I’m meant to have eternal joy in Him. By holding on to what isn’t meant for me, I lose who I’m meant to be. So, if I’m not being who I’m meant to be… nothing can be real. You see? ((OH, SNAP! #butImNotARapper))
Not surrendering to the Lord gave me that small little leaven which hardened my heart just ever so slightly. Thus, my choice to say no to the one thing… made it that much easier to say no the next thing He asked. And the next time after that. AAAAaaand the next time after that. All of these hardened my heart just a little more each time. Now I’m spiraled out of control, with so much leaven and so many carbs… without an ounce of bread to show for it!
God’s not joking about that leaven. It’s real.
However, even though I hate facing real issues and surrendering, well–really anything to the Lord… that’s no excuse for me to not honor God for Who he is. My crappy attitude doesn’t effect God’s… Godness and Lordship. My stubbornness should never get in the way of my relationship with the One person who gave it all for me. He deserves my heart. He deserves my life. He deserves my everything.
So now we come to this day. This blessed Christmas in 2016.
I’m sitting here.
Working my graveyard shift.
Pondering if I’m so far gone I’m beyond any redemption.
I’m a Christian. I’m a leader at church. And I have a rocky relationship with God.
Tending to their flocks by night.
I was reading my Bible a couple days ago to brush up on my “true meaning of Christmas” attitude. I was brought to Luke 2 where the Angel is proclaiming the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. I’ve heard the story, quite literally, a million times. Yet, this time I saw it from another angle. (Thank you Holy Spirit)
For time’s sake… here is what I read, only in the Monzi’s Millennial International Spark Notes Quick Time Version *ahem* Sooo the Angel basically was like:
STOP FREAKING OUT!!
IT’S JUST ME: AN ANGEL. HEAVENLY BEING. NO BIG DEAL.
sooo…GUESS WHAT!? YOU’LL NEVER GUESS… SO LET ME JUST TELL YOU!
I HAVE SOME AMAZINGLY GREAT NEWS!
WHO IS YOUR SAVIOR. THE CHRIST. FROM THE PROPHECIES.
WAS JUST BORN!
I NEED YOU TO GO LOOK FOR YOURSELVES, HOMIES!
YOU’LL KNOW WHAT’S UP BECAUSE HE’LL BE IN A MANGER CHILLIN IN HIS SWADDLING CLOTHS!
NOW… LET ME AND MY MILLIONS OF ANGEL BRUHS WORSHIP RIGHT NOW!
Thank you for reading Monzi’s Millennial International Spark Notes Quick Time Version. If you want to read the real text because that’s more important: click here!
The verse that stuck out to me was verse 15:
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” (that’s the furreal NKJV version FYI).
What are you getting at, Sherlock?
What I realized was, everyone was waiting on this amazing Messiah to come and restore Israel/bring salvation to the people. Like…this prophecy was the culmination of everything. The realest of the realest. The Hope of all hopes!
And now…this Hope was finally here! aaaaand whom were the first to know?!
SHEPHERDS. Just doing what they were supposed to be doing: Chillin’ with the sheep. Gross, smelly, dirty shepherds. The lowest of the low. These men were the chosen people to see Hope: Revealed. And from there… their lives would never be the same again. These simple shepherds were profoundly transformed by the mere existence of Jesus. Hope made known. Hope that is real**.
And as I type this, I see a spiritual significance. I, Monzi, am dirty, smelly, gross, and hardened by disobedience and sin. I am the lowest of the low. But God has chosen me to see “this thing that has come to pass.” And when I’m doing what I should be doing (i.e. surrendering, obeying, reading the Bible, praying, honoring God with all areas in my life, etc), like the shepherds, I get to experience the Hope revealed in Jesus. It may not be as glitzy as witnessing a multitude of Angels rejoicing… but each day, I am chosen to be transformed by Jesus’ existence and love and and I’m gifted with salvation so I don’t have to be spiritually gross or dirty anymore. How miraculous?!
So, my conclusion?
On this wonderful Christmas morn…for once, in a long while, I’m at peace because of the Prince of Peace. I remember Jesus for Who He is and am transformed by that. I’m reminded that there is always Hope in Him. I am awed that Hope is natural bi-product of Grace in Him. And Grace is the wonderful, amazing, powerful and almost unbelievable thing about Jesus. With Jesus, I am never too far gone to turn around, repent and surrender. I’m never too far gone for Him to not use me. I’m never too far gone for Him to stop loving me.
In this crazy interstate of life, He is faithful to the end. He is my Hope: revealed. Now, I need to surrender… and not just the big things either. It’s always in the little things.
Happy Christmas and until next time…
All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.
I surrender all,
I surrender all.
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.