August 23, 2008

Confessions of a Reckless Spiritualist

I write now, for better or for worse, writings that fade that soon will be history, gone with the wind
With ink of tears that hope to brighten up tomorrow though I stand knocking the doors of darkness
Scribbling my life on white-washed tombs within which lie a mockery of victory
I run! Trying to outrun my shadow of defeat but faint I realize it’s now my identity
What shall I say? Where should I start? All these thoughts run down a chill of guilt through my spine
If I could take one step backward and change the course of time, I wouldn’t be one step closer to fading away into despair
A Christian they call me, a born-again believer I claim to be
But as I scribble the first line trumpeting my faith, I see my mask falling off revealing my true identity

JUST AS you got a routine in life, I too have one. Just as you read your Bible while sometimes out of a necessity and by the time you reach the tenth verse you are half asleep, I too have a similar ‘Bible fiesta’. Just as life goes on day by day and you stand wondering at the end of the day ‘what different was life today from yesterday?’ my routine too is written down on similar pages. An unknown compulsion that drives my soul into the routine, a feeling of emptiness that creeps in if I stumble apart from my routine, a sense of pride that develops and runs up my spine as the routine becomes more profound and a sense of hypocritical achievement that I cater to at the end of the up-fall.

Being ruled under the mastery of my routine, I realize that living outside my routine is trespassing unfamiliar territories. It’s become a compulsion that I ought to follow or face consequences that can shatter the essence of my pride. To avoid the fallouts of the downfall I put on a mask of hypocrisy disguising myself to others as ‘a perfect one’-on par their conclusions. Becoming famous as ‘their perfect one’ soon gives me comfort in that mask. The mask soon gets embedded into my character and becomes my identity. The routine becomes me as I wear that mask and I become that mask. Then pride rises to unconquered heights and attains a feeling of immortality. Then I stand and look down to the world and sculpt a statue of my routine - I sculpt my god.

ANOTHER DAY at church and with the Sunday School Anniversary coming up in a couple of weeks, a lot of work had to be done. Song, skit practices and a whole lot of other practices left to be done; Saturday evening was a little exciting. Through all the hustle and bustle I managed to finish off with the practices and reach home before my dad turned red and blue.

On my way back home, I misplaced my music player in an auto rickshaw. At first I thought I would have left it back at church, and made desperate attempts to find it at church but in vain. When I realized that there was no way for me to get it back, I sat down in disappointment. It was dear to me. “Come on, it’s just another music player…nothing precious,” I told trying to console myself. But somewhere down beneath I felt a deep loss within me. I wasn’t crying for the music player, but a kind of sadness filled my heart. That night as I slept I sat thinking about myself. No more bedtime music. That night marked a change. Just silence and thoughts hovered about me. As thoughts dawned over me, I groaned and cried bitterly from within when I realized what exactly I lost.

HOW DOES it feel to be an addict? Bad, bad and really very bad…that’s what I can say through years of experience. Addiction can shatter one’s life and can destroy his character. Secret addiction is more destructive. It can devastate one’s self-confidence and can put him under a burden of guilt leaving him shattered. An addict finds himself caught in a fix between the false character he puts on for the outside world and the true character he dearly hides from the world. Telling an addict what he’s doing is wrong, will not lead to any conclusion or change in his life. Well, firstly, he would have heard that a thousand times from similar ‘advisors’ while secondly, he too admits it! An addict loves a person who can guide him out of the mess he has created. Well, I’ve not written a theory of assumptions, it’s my experience. When I look at my life now, I just hate and am disgusted by the mess I’ve created.

MY LIFE was not at all cool through that whole week, at least in the sight of God. Oft getting into stuff that didn’t please God, I ruined my entire week. As the desire for sin grew in me, I got desperate to satisfy myself. It would have been fine if had this been a sudden problem. Frankly, it’s been following me for over a decade! And the solution for it…well, I have a God who forgives me and he will ALWAYS forgive me. Taking advantage of his grace I ran into gutters of stinking water which seemed to me as rivers of pleasure and comfort. This whole stuff breaks my heart as I write it.

THERE HAD to be something done! Being stuck in such a misery for a long time, I had to do something to come out of this mess! But how? Every time I tried to pull myself out, I kept sinking deeper. I needed help and desperately. I would sometimes cry before God when I was all alone just asking him for his help. I knew his promise that he is always there to help me but… When temptations stood a test against me, I would try hard to let go my desire for pleasure, but just couldn’t succeed. Sometimes, I would feel that I was too weak to claim God’s strength. Other times I would give up myself to pleasures, willing. Caught in a net of self-made failures, was I running away from his presence?

I found friends who tried to help me and guide me out of this mess but their efforts just strengthened me emotionally. The advantage, they helped me make myself responsible to at least someone. To some, I could talk freely about the problems I face. But at a certain point I realized that even they are not perfect. They too were facing similar problems. They too were still fighting themselves out of their problems. Their help would just encourage me of the fact that I am not alone in the struggles of life; there are people with similar struggles too. Again, one really wouldn’t seek advices from such friends but just encouragement. Once stuck in a mental framework that I am not alone in these struggles, I would land up getting disarmed and lazy in my fight getting myself back to the routine I created for myself! Somehow, all this just couldn’t provide me a real solution.

I was caught in a maze of reckless decisions that changed my life into a routine of failures. I was just running around a bush making no sense of my life. With no good solution to the mess, the routine created for me a mask of hypocrisy for a disguise to the outside world. I knew the mess I created of my life, but didn’t have the courage to admit it to myself, though I would readily admit it to my friends. It seemed as if the road ahead kept getting darker with no hope whatsoever. Through all this the mask kept getting deeper embedded into my character until it became my character, and I became the mask.

IF ANYTHING could be done, only God could do something. And Praise God, he acted. That night he spoke to me as I sat in the emptiness of my heart crying for something I lost unknown by me. As he silently whispered to me what I lost, I was completely shaken when he told me that I had lost him. I had lost Jesus! Me, a person so famously known to others as their perfect one, a person who people always saw as walking with God, suddenly lost Jesus! It may not sound fascinating enough to convince an addict, but it convicted me powerfully. I stood emotionless at the thought. God had to take away something material to make me realize the pain of losing Jesus. More than my pain, I realized the pain that God had to go through. As silence hovered around me, I sat down to listen to the whispers of God, for the first time, as he began to testify about me.

At this juncture I realized the mess I had created. I shook myself to tears of repentance. I got myself to admit the situation I was miserably stuck in. Things were completely a failure. Attending church, getting involved in spiritual activities, being active in church, with all those other church activities just proved to be a stage for hypocrisy. To hide the guilt that stayed hard with me after my routine of failures, I would make myself ‘visible’ in church. I had to admit this fact. All these years I just couldn’t admit this fact. Admitting it would prove disastrous to my pride. Admitting it would mean to make drastic changes in my life. It was just too big a thing personally for me to admit. The fact that I was using God and the things of God most of the times as a stage for hypocrisy really pained me. Faint are my memories when I’ve actually done something for God out of a true heart. The rest jumbled up into a platform to cover my guilt. As God kept blessing me in my life, I kept bundling them into the baggage of my routine. With all the things I claimed to be doing for Jesus already bundled up in that routine, I started taking pride in my routine. It became my mask of hypocrisy. It became my essence of worship. It became my god!

Now there was a new god in my life. One that was made up of failures, one that was an addict, one that didn’t have its own identity, one that was an hypocrite, one that despised the true God. Each one of these characteristics built this god-my routine. In the pursuit after this new god, I left behind my Savior. I left behind my true God. I outran Jesus! I lost Jesus in the pursuit behind my routine. This fact really broke my heart. As God kept talking to me in that night, I lay silent to hear the voice of God who cried as he spoke to me. His tears washed away my guilt. His pain strengthened me to leave my past. It gave me courage to face every day with strength from above. It helped me find a purpose in my life. As I end these confessions, my thoughts still stand afresh to the whispers of God that changed my life. If there had to be a change in my life, only God could do something!
Lots more to write on this, but for now, I limit myself. I want to leave you with this sincere plea; Never outrun God.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.