Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The sin of Complacency

If you and I were to sit down and go through my life story and if I were to be truly blunt about everything in my life, I could amaze you with the wonderful works of God done for a wretched soul like me. Most of you would doubt the second part initially. That is for a different time.

During my High School and College years, my Spiritual Ecosystem (not just me but those around me and where I spent my time) flourished. I couldn't tell you the many moments of grace I felt, retreats, small groups, life changing one on one conversations, special encounters, and many other faith affirming experiences. I don't doubt God exists. I know He is alive and I know He can be found in this world. But somewhere among the great experiences, I slowly became numb to my inner self.

As long as I felt something, I experienced something I could attribute to God, I didn't care too much about my commitment to a personal prayer life and growth in a relationship with Christ. I figured that if I had all these moments, God couldn't be far from me. That is when I first became numb to gnawing poke which kept telling me I am not well. Though it was true that God wasn't far me, I was slowly turning my back on Him.

After College, that ecosystem couldn't keep sustaining me. I wasn't there always like I used to be in the past. I had more time commitments to work and grad school. I became more and more numb to living a life both of this world and for God. There were so many times it was tearing me up inside, but it was easier to say "I'll do it tomorrow" or say "what is one day going to hurt." God continued and still continues His relentless pursuit of His wandering child however. It isn't good enough to just follow the rules or be a good person, not when you have had the chance to know Christ like I have had. Once you know Him, once you have truly experienced Him, you can either commit your life to Him or you must reject Him. All of his disciples either was changed radically in service to Him or completely abandoned Him.

I can look to what I do now, teaching CCD, helping the Youth group where I can, going to Mass every Sunday, going to bible studies or prayer meetings, or worship nights... none of these things matter if I don't put God first.

I'm not saying we have to be perfect. Peter gave a great example of that even after the Holy Spirit was residing in him. I am saying though, we have to be faithful to what we do know. For us to know what is right and not do it, that is sin. That willful act is breaking, rather, tearing our relationship with God. The more we do it, the less we feel how badly we become affected by it.

I say all of this because it really comes down to the simple things. I may not know exactly what God wants from me at every moment of my day, but I know He wants me daily in His presence. Not because He is being selfish and wants my love only for Him, but so that He can shower me with His Perfect Love which allows me to give all the more to those around me. I can find this through daily prayer and meditation, through daily reading of scripture, through daily review of how I lived, and through my daily decision to put Him first.

I don't pray every day. I don't even intentionally think about God everyday. To me whom God has given much, I have given so little and it is breaking me. Over the last several years however, I am convicted of this more and more. I am reminded of this in so many ways. I think, slowly, I am changing. But how much longer do I have to take the slow road? We have all seen how quickly a life can be taken away. The longer I live in this complacency, the higher my chances of never reaching Heaven.

I am not writing this because tonight was magical and I am done with how I have been living my life. I write this tonight because it is yet again a reminder to me, and I think a reminder to others, to always seek God further and deeper. Don't think you have reached perfection yet, but strive for it till the day you die. Don't think there is a good enough line either. Get up every time you fall.

Tonight I was struggling with what to do and this time I chose to open the Bible randomly. Tonight God spoke thus to me:

"The Lord said:
Because these people draw near with their mouths
    and honor me with their lips,
    while their hearts are far from me,
and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote;
14 so I will again do
    amazing things with this people,
    shocking and amazing.
The wisdom of their wise shall perish,
    and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden."

This is from Isaiah Chapter 29. I cannot tell you how much I needed to hear these words tonight and how much it resonated with me. Truly God's Word is living and effective and pierces the heart of any person.

I write this in hopes that another needed to hear these words as well. I hope and pray for each of you who reads this tonight. I also ask for your prayer as we make this journey together. I hope when the Lord speaks to each of us, our hearts will not be hardened.