I’m porting a twitter rant over to the blog today. This isn’t the brave kind of honesty, more like the “I’ve never felt more disconnected from everything so I don’t really care anymore who thinks what about my faith” level of honesty.
If I’m honest with myself, salvation is a meaningless term for me anymore. Maybe it always was. I’ve always felt like I’m on the outside looking in, trying to manufacture experiences I don’t understand, trying to live vicariously through encouraging others.
My faith has always been “sideways” – people oriented – whether it means being a chameleon to fit in or whether I genuinely care about someone. It’s not always very easy to tell the difference either. But a “relationship” with God? “Love Jesus”? I have no idea.
I pray in the hope it eventually means something, or because someone’s in need and I have nothing else to give them. Do I get any peace out of it ever? Ha. Have I ever felt a return response from the Divine? No idea.
Worship? There’s another meaningless activity to me. Don’t try to tell me it’s not about “feelings”. I’m not asking for euphoria, or for someone else’s experience, just to find any meaning at all. If it’s supposed to be all about God, well, then there’s my problem again.
He’s consistently “not there” in any way anybody I’ve ever read or heard has described it. Fundamentalism and the evangelical church had no answers for me here any more than my own desperate reaches for faith have in the years since. Like there’s nothing in me at all.
I still aspire to following Jesus, I still want to go this way, but it feels much more like an intellectual assent and a self-absorbed scratching and clawing to do something meaningful on my own steam, with no other power behind it at all than a vague belief that there is Truth.
I can’t help but think my experience isn’t much different at all than a non-Christian person who gives a damn. The difference being the feeling that I’ve missed the boat somehow, among the experiences of so many of my peers.
To put it another way, I’m not in this to feel good, but Christianity, or rather, nearly every ritual or discipline associated with it, is so thoroughly unrewarding to my soul that I have to wonder if I’ve still got the wrong thing entirely.
PS: I don’t mean any of this as an assertion that no one’s spiritual experience has any meaning to it, or even that they just think they have found meaning and have been deceived. This is my own moment of honesty.