Anna and I are both in jobs that enable us to see the grimmer side of life. The side we all like to pretend isn’t there. The side that sometimes forces itself into our vision. The side where parents swear at children; where people live in awful conditions; where common sense and decency are as distant a reality as God and have little chance of prevailing.
Recently I handed in my notice. As of the end of July I was no longer a PCSO in North Yorkshire Police. I left because I felt God wanted me to return to working for the church. The church had a need and I have the relevant skills/qualifications, ergo I will be doing the youth work for the church and also training under the minister and, I guess, at some stage be heading to Bible College or some sort of recognised further study. As Dylan drawled: ‘the times they are a-changing’. And I am petrified of change. We all like to think we embrace change. It is cool to think we are open minded enough to accept and welcome change, it is easy to judge people who are in the middle of change and laugh at their fearfully small steps towards it and rather large ones away from it. And then we face change. Or more specifically I do. I’ve left a well paid job to work for a church. I’ve left faith in money – tangible, touchable money, to faith in God. I believe it is the right thing to do… it’s just… sometimes… sometimes I wonder what God’s playing at.
It’s the same way I view the world. I look around and see all those terrible things and I don’t know how to change them. But it’s more than that – I can’t see how they will ever change. And right there at that moment my faith hits the brick wall of reality. I look at theses situations and I can see that the only one who can bring change is God but I can’t for the life of me see how He will do it. My spiritual faith becomes stuck in human thinking. My nature contradicts itself rather than complimenting itself.
Perhaps it’s because we are conditioned to believe that people don’t change, and it’s people that, ultimately, are the issue. So the question is: how far is my faith impeded by my subconscious belief that people don’t change, that miracles are rare, and that that’s just the way it is? Maybe coming from a Christian home has made this worse for me. You see, when I made Christianity my own, I was already living with the morals and beliefs of a Christian because that’s how my parents raised me. Paul writes in one of his letters ‘Remember what you were saved from’. Well for me this is difficult because, if anything, I got worse after becoming a Christian! And yet I’ve had friends who have had no Christian background completely change their lives because of Jesus and what He has saved them from.
The biggest threat to my faith is complacency and comfort. I am jealous of my friends who have changed through God, but not enough to change myself. I pray that I will stop fearing change, that I will never be comfortable at the expense of my God, that I will realise what He has saved me from, and that I will be grateful. I pray for me, but I’ll pray for you too, if you want.