When I started this blog a month ago I wrote down two seemingly simple goals that I had. The first goal was, ‘Post something at least once a week’, and the second was, ‘Be honest’. I know they don’t seem like much, but I am new to blogging and I am new to setting goals (that I actually intend to keep) so I thought I would start off with just those two. As it turns out, they are more difficult to keep than one might think.
There are a few reasons that I am struggling to keep them, the first being that writing is difficult and, as much as I love it, I don’t always want to do it. I don’t want to sit down and try and think of a new topic to write about for the week. I don’t want to take an hour or two (or five) out of my day to write something that could turn out to be complete rubbish. I don’t want to stop doing the easy things, like playing a game or watching a series, so that I can willingly force anxiety on myself by writing something that a bunch of people on the internet will (or even worse, won’t) read. As Dorothy Parker put it, “I hate writing. I love having written.” Ernest Hemingway described the writing process well when he said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” and at times that is exactly what it feels like.
The second, and much more significant, reason is that I am bad at being honest. I don’t mean that I go around lying constantly to everyone I meet, but most of the time I try my best to avoid having to tell the truth. Honesty is difficult because it allows people to see who I really am (wow, what a revelation) instead of who I want them to think I am. You see, I constantly fall into the trap of believing the devil’s worthless lies about who I am instead of God’s beautiful truths. My natural response in these times, instead of running to God, my rock and my fortress in times of trouble, is running away from him. I begin to believe that he doesn’t actually love me, he only loves the people around me because they are so much better than I am at academics, at sport, at Christianity, and at life in general, and instead of looking to God and his Word for the truth I avoid them, because like I said, I avoid honesty. I convince myself that it is easier to believe that I am worthless than it is to believe that I am worth the precious blood of Jesus. I start to believe that there is less pressure on me to perform if my life is of no value than there is if I am worth the blood of Jesus, but this simply isn’t true.
I had no idea what to write about this week. I was feeling despondent and useless, far from God, and I couldn’t see how I could possibly write something that would ‘uplift’ or ‘encourage’ people through my words. However, my goals when I started this were to write every week and to be honest and so that is what I am doing. That is what ‘The Stumbling Saint’ is all about. I make no claims of perfection, except that of God’s, but I am still able to fall back on the fact that I am not worthless because Jesus would not suffer for someone who is worthless. I just need a bit of a reminder sometimes.
So that’s what this is. It is more of a ‘note to self’ than something aimed at the general population. It is my way of forcing myself to acknowledge and reflect on the truth of who I am, not because of what I have done but because of what God has done for me. It is a way of removing the mask of (so called) perfection that I hide behind, and realising that I can come to God as I am, broken and downhearted, because he will love me anyway.