Sunday, October 09, 2005

Being Christ Centered

Today we had a substitute priest. And his homily had a very resounding Baptist feel to it, but I do agree with it. It's something my friend Bret just mentioned. It's about our lives being centered in Christ. I feel that as Christians that should be our focus and our goal in our lives. But it's not easy when you've had other things being the center of your life for a number of years. Here's an excerpt I wrote about ten years ago regarding my religious state:

I guess I've become a cynic. I have little trust and faith in anything any more. I'm always doubting things, people, ideas. I consistently doubt sincerity. I always think "what's the catch?" or "they really don't feel this way." I am constantly questioning everything. Looking for motives. Seeking "so-called truths." Why have I become this way? I guess that a lot of it has to do with getting burned so many times. -- Yet I still seek those things that have singed me -- for the most part. Whether it is "religion" or "relationships." Yes, I do feel burned by religion. After "believing" that I was truly a "Christian" - as defined by Baptist terms - and then having to question my "salvation" because of others "realizations" it's hard to accept religion with all it's strings attached. Maybe it's dangerous to have been devoted for a while and to have learned what I did. I understand (at least I think I do) enough to be scared of such commitments. It's a change in myself that I do not wish to make at this time. It's a change that can' t happen without the spiritual desire inside of me. I still have my moments of curiosity. Maybe in some small way I'm seeking spirituality. I guess I haven't given up on the Christian faith--with all the books and music I've been buying up. But why haven't I gotten into reading the books and really listening to the music? What keeps me from them? I suppose I do have the intention to do these things -- why else would I have the books and music? It's just that those moments of spiritual awakenings come and go so often. (More "go" than "come") That's why I haven't gone to church in a while. The desire is gone for the moment. Maybe it boils down to the idea of cynicism again. I just don't know. Sometimes I get more into religion with a little outside push. (Usually having conversations with Bret that strike up my curiosity again) Can I depend on outside enforcements? It's fine to have them for a few pushes, but they're not always there. That's why I feel it has to come from within me. I guess I'm stuck in a rut. I think that a lot of this has to do with my need for control. I want to be the one to call the shots in my life. Do what I need to make me happy with a little help from God. Why can't it be that simple?

Christ certainly wasn't centered then and I had a difficult time allowing Him to enter into my life. I am now at a point where I'm opening the door. I still have control issues, but I'm learning to let go and let God take the reins now. And I know I'm making progress. My relationship with Christ has certainly developed a great deal since I began this journey and I know there's more steps to go. But I'm at least taking them now. I've come a long way since I wrote that excerpt ten years ago. I've been to depths that I don't want to get into again and I still have walls to climb, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


Katrina Leigh said...

I wish some of my Protestant friends could read your posts. Last night, at a Bible study, our leader wanted us to give names of those in our lives that need salvation. Three people lifted names of those they described first of all as "grown up Catholic." They didn't say "I don't see Christ in his/her life" or anything like that. Just, "He grew up Catholic." It bothers me that those who are Catholic are automatically deemed "lost" by Protestants. I wanted to bring up that point last night but I don't believe in stabbing sleeping bears in the eye.

Annabel said...

So far I have discovered that Catholics are just as Christ-centered if not more than the protestants I've known. I like the fact that there's more accountability in the Catholic church with confession and it's more of an outward display of adoration of Christ in the mass. Saying silent prayers as a Baptist was too easy for me.
One cannot assume that because a person grew up Catholic they aren't Christ centered... how they live their life is more of an indicator. I've seen both Catholics and protestants alike that aren't living very Christian-like lives... and those are the ones that should be prayed for... no matter what faith they are.

Anonymous said...

Annabel, I just found your site. What a moving story and mirrors mine in many ways. What I most identify with is the feeling of emptiness and not being a good enough Christian until I found the True Church. I was raised Baptist, converted to Lutheran when I married one but always felt lost and alone and would drift away from organized religion. But the Lord never gave up and when my daughter said she was signing up for RCIA, I started to read about the Catholic faith and was consumed with it. My daughter,my husband and I were all confirmed on Easter 2005. I'm still reading, still studying, still a sinner and it is a struggle every day. But what a glorifying struggle and the Lord and his Church are with me every step of the way. Anyone who says being a true Christian is easy, isn't a Christian as far as I'm concerned. We as a family are working toward our salvation every day and Thank God, he gave us his Church on earth to make it a peaceful, joyous journey. God bless you and please continue your journal of faith. Louise