Went to a new church this evening.

I was apprehensive, nervous... as usual. Am I doing the right thing? Should I even be bothering with this?
Yet I know that if I don't at least read the Bible and go to church once in a while, this whole "God" thing will be down the tubes.

So I went.

At first I was confused. Where do I go? Then I saw the sign for the entrance and made my way inside. The sanctuary was simply done in shades of grey and light wood paneling. The front wall was white, with multiple vertical lights scattered across its surface that lit up blue, making the whole thing look like a light shower of raindrops. Quite pleasant, really. I sank crosslegged into the grey chair furthest from the stage, but still felt a little uncomfortable. Until, that is, the music started. Then, it just washed over me-- this feeling of comfort, like This is good. I'm supposed to be here. I felt like I was in the right place, and I was glad.

The service was simple, yet heartfelt. No showy lights, no superficial gimmicks... just people who want to live life the way God intended it.

The sermon, however, threw me for a loop. They were going over the first chapter of 2 Thessalonians, and when the guy started talking about how suffering is part of God's will for our lives, I began shifting in my seat.

Haven't I suffered enough, God? Like, really? Suffering is something you're going to do to us on purpose? That's pretty messed up... seeing as how we already get that anyway.

I know I was being a little immature, but I still felt miffed.

Then he came to the point where he was talking about total surrender to God-- giving up ourselves, our self-reliance, all that jazz... followed up by how God is always good, and how everything he allows into our lives is for our good and His glory...

...and that's about the place where I lost it.

I realized that I'm screwed.

I cannot, will not, give up my self reliance and my independence. I can't.


God, you didn't protect me. You just let all that junk-- that suffering, that apparently you do to us on purpose-- happen to me, and now you expect me to just forget about it and trust you? No way! I can't trust you! All I have left is myself for protection, and I'm not about to give that up and hand myself over to some unnamed threat of suffering in the future, assuming that it's all for my best good. No. I can't do that, even if I wanted to... which I do. I want to trust you God, I just... I can't. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I can't be what you want, but... I just can't do this. Not right now. I'm the only one that can protect me... and I just can't give that up.

And then I started thinking about how that basically means that, should I die tonight, or should Jesus come back tomorrow... I'm doomed. Because God only takes the people to heaven who will be happy there, right? How can you be happy with someone you don't trust? Maybe the millennium would cure me of that, and I'd understand why and be able to trust, but that's kind of a slim hope to cling to...

And just when I had decided to believe in Jesus, too. Damn. What timing.

What do they say? Two steps forward, three steps back? Hah.

Anyway... it just gets me to thinking... what's the point?

I mean, all this time I've been trying to know who God really is, and what it means to trust him, and how to trust him, etc., I've still been paying my tithe. I've been keeping Sabbath. I've stayed away from unclean foods. I've gone to church (sorta). I've read the Bible or a devotional book in the mornings. I've prayed.

But what's the point?

If the basic, fundamental building block of trust isn't there, why am I doing all these things?

Am I hoping that God will look more favorably upon my lost condition if I'm not quite as lost as the next person? To prove to myself that I'm a good person? Because I'm afraid that God will make my life miserable if I don't? (Although, apparently, it'll be miserable if I follow him, too, so.... either way, I guess...)

If there's no point in my trying to be a Christian anymore... I really don't feel like there's a point to life, honestly. Truly, this world isn't that great of a place. And if this is all that I have... I'm getting gypped. But I guess it's all that I have, so I might as well make the best of it.

God, I don't want to be lost! I really, really wanted this "God thing" to work out... but the issue of trust is this giant boulder that I don't have the strength to move. If it's gonna happen, I'm not the one that can make it happen. You know what I mean?

I tried. I really did.

It's such a shame to be shot down like this.

(What you can't see are my tears of absolute heartbreak and discouragement.)

And NO, I don't want to hear any quotes from Steps to Christ. It's... it's not true.

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