I’m reading through the Bible in a year. It was quite the daunting burden to take on, but a friend sort of peer pressured me into it, and now, I’m through Exodus, Mark, most of Acts and Leviticus and done with the psalms of David.
I had a conversation with Jason today about a difficult run in over the weekend that left me exasperated with the american church [again]. I was with people who were complaining about others as though they were intolerable burdens rather than celebrating the blessings that other humans can (and should) be to us. And I could have torn my hair out, shouting at them, “you! you are the reason I wanted to leave the church! you are the reason I feel uncomfortable around Christians! you!”
and of course, Jason in his very calm voice, reminds me that there is a good deal of pride in my lashing out. And then he says that I need to lower my expectations and exercise a bit more compassion than prophecy and I should probably take a deep breath.
I was a little caught off guard, as I usually am when people try to correct me. But I sat down on my bed and with the phone pressed to my ear, I let out a little sigh while listening to him finish. He was right, you know. I just finished reading Romans 2-5 and Paul rebuked me as well. I am just like the Jews who claimed special privileges and salvation for their rite of circumcision.
And then, as I am recalling Romans, Jason asks if I think those people are in the word very much. How many Christians have ever read through their Bible, even just once? And if that is a primary way of God speaking to us, how can the Holy Spirit be convicting them of anything? He admits to having been convicted of something recently, and I’m standing in my room, watching the shadows grow outside my window, thinking that he has no idea.
I’m convicted all the time, it seems. At church on Sunday. In Seattle, on the trundle in Amanda’s studio apartment. On the airplane when I tried to sleep but couldn’t for the misbehaving ten year old next to me. This morning, in a rush at the bank, standing across from Rachel. And tonight, alone, in my bedroom, staring out the window as the skies darkened and the light faded to misty hues of grey.
I guess it’s good to be convicted. It’s just that it’s hard too, because it means I have so much more to work on. Ah, me. But that is where the Spirit dwells within and does her spinning work to weave my tapestry into something that will someday be magnificent–though now it is only threads and knots.
And so, I suppose, I’ll keep trying to read my Bible. And even try to listen when people decide they have a sort of right to correct and rebuke me for my ill begotten ways.