From Catherine Con
Time and time again, like the author of Psalm 73, I can say that “my feet have almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped...I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” It’s not belief that’s been a problem for me, but value in these beliefs -- the question,Is this worth it? Like this Psalmist, I’d think: “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?” Or have I been washing my hands in innocence in vain?
The way of the arrogant, or, in my case, the successful, “liberated” artists who are my peers, has had a way of enticing me towards a life that appears more beautiful, more dangerous, more freeing, than the life I lead in Christ. If I could live like that, have success like that, party like that, I’d be happier, I would think. But such musings have left me feeling empty, and lead me into spirals of self doubt, enslaved to self-reliance as I try to prove my worth through other means.
We know the only antidote to such chains is to give these things up to Jesus. “It is good to be near God,” the Psalmist says, and indeed, it’s this drawing near that turns him from his former perspective. For about two years now I’ve had the good gift of being discipled by a woman named Adelina, who is one of my wisest and dearest friends. Adelina has drawn me near to God: she’s held me accountable, we’ve read through a handful of books of the Bible together, memorized Scripture, prayed and worshipped together. Sometimes, like the Psalmist, I admittedly felt “rebuked and stricken” during these times, but also like the Psalmist, I’ve emerged knowing that it’s good to be near Him and that He is my refuge.
Adelina and I have been reading through Acts, a book full of micro stories of people who gave things up to follow Christ. I’ve been thinking about what I’ve given up. Unlike the Biblical heroes, I haven’t given up a family, or a career as a fisher(wo)man, or great riches. I have, however, turned away from an identity. I find now that Christ is enough. What sweet strength and relief to realize “there is nothing on earth that I desire beside You...God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” In Christ I have found true freedom, true beauty, and even true danger and excitement on this difficult and beautiful path.
I am a fun friend who lives in Porter Square and likes tacos, cookies, and pizza.