The Size of Conviction
Because this stuff is hit or miss, let me elaborate on the size of what conviction can be with some reality based examples. I know this more lately than ever, but honestly, it only has to do with believing that God can use whatever mechanism he chooses to speak to you, and because I for one have yet to see angels, so I’ll let you know once that happens. I just think that if he wants to explode things, he will. I know it has nothing to do with me. And so I pay a lot of attention and don’t justify things (because I won’t need to if I’m patient and paying attention). I could never not pay attention, but now I can take myself out of the equation. And that is what I know to be true.
- The track on your phone stops playing when you start to realize you have sinned. That would be a convenient time to ask for forgiveness, amirite?
- You have been struggling with your natural beauty since you can remember, and the girl in your Biology class says your hair is pretty when you’ve done nothing to it whatsoever. How does God see you (you can ask him)? Because regardless of the specifics, it is infinite and beautiful and nothing like the rental you were given, it’s over and greater and better than all of it.
- You’ve got a spiritual gift? Excellent. Does the way you practice it align with how God thinks you should? It’s already been printed. If people can see God’s gift in the joy that you bring to service, it is his. If not, why?
- You forgot to paint your nails for church this morning. Do you stay home? When you wake up from your post-lolz-alarm nap, do you feel guilty or peaceful? Those are two ends of the same head, and the image of God is printed on one side. I was a chronic church skipper back in the days of depression, but yeah, if you have no good reason except nail polish, is that the only reason? You don’t have to say anything to anyone, but God is willing to catch you and deliver you from that on standby whenever you’re ready if you decide that’s the answer you’d like to pursue.
- People say the same things about you when they are upset over a long period of time (your call how long; that’s subjective). Now, given the fact that they are still agitated over a period of time, what are you doing to cause them to stumble by being able to pin their anger on you? This is not to say that it is your fault. This is to say that no one is guiltless on this earth and if they care for you (even if you don’t really care for them) and you care about God’s goodness, those are rarely separate. Personally, my family most recently thinks I am Satan for leaving my dishes in the sink, and that crap hasn’t changed since high school. For the sake of privacy and love, I’m leaving it at that, but yeah, you sacrifice for what you love if it matters, even if that means swallowing bitter criticism.
- You failed your chemistry final (again). You have two choices: You can either pray, reflect, and discern exactly where God is at in THAT EXACT MOMENT, or you can postpone things indefinitely and be miserable for longer than you need to. I’m not saying this was your fault, I for one failed out of AP Chem in high school, and it “ruined” my pre-college GPA (I’m shaking my head at my silly white-girl-privilege in that one and not realizing a 3.73 is actually more than almost all people could skate by with and clinical depression. But such is culture; it can be distracting and often, beautiful.) I personally changed my major over 4 times, and decided to drop being Women’s studies major after months longer than the 24 hours it took for me to make that decision, and it is my personal business why I did that unless you ask. But, I’m just saying, it’s better to live with risk and be scared shitless than to fail your way through college (which is supposed to be fun, even if fun is supposed to be binge drinking and ending up in the Hospital, and yes, I can find you those statistics).
- I killed your houseplants and ate your second bag of Fritos in a week. Do you really want to learn to have a green thumb, or would you be happier with a spice garden and changing your dietary habits to reprioritize nutrition and heal your life? I ate a salad last night garnished with a chicken wing (I would not lie about that), so maybe I can join you.
- You killed your beta fish. You won him in a raffle, and instead of being like “HELL NO” you struggled to buy little beta pellets and lo and behold, forgot him over Thanksgiving break because lol, you never wanted him in the first place. I have a personal vendetta against giving living organisms other than those dead inside baked goods as gifts, but man, life is hard when you really just are doing your best and hate conflict.
- You lost your phone or broke it in the shower. Should you have your phone so close to the bathtub that it casually slips in if you are trying to bathe? I am waiting for the day that this one takes out my Samsung Galaxy LTE, and I don’t even like that phone. But, just because your phone survives until tomorrow, should you decide that having it permanently attached to your perspective is what is healthy for you and others? I can’t help you, but I can commiserate. Technology changes quickly, and honestly, I miss the days where my phone had 15 buttons and a minute limit. I had a pay as you go phone while I was in Chile; I’m considering going back to that (I was so much more chill in general). My phone may be crazy, but it forgets to dial people sporadically when I don’t actually need to talk to them in hindsight, and so yeah, I’m keeping it. I’m not saying I have a magical genie phone, but if the person you are trying to call doesn’t pick up their phone when you are under doubt, maybe you should let it be and trust that God will resolve it.