I’m coming out of a time spiritually where my faith has looked like a struggling, scrawny, Charlie Brown Christmas tree—the one you only buy because it’s pathetic and you feel bad for it. When my schedule became overcrowded and my emotional wellbeing shattered, I stopped listening to God. As the days passed, I became less and less concerned at my lack of connection to God. I felt distant from others and too frustrated to pray. This became my new norm. The hungry, growing, curious God-chaser in me faded away to reveal a tired, indifferent cynic. I didn’t care if I did what God wanted. I didn’t care if I loved people. I decided people only do good stuff to get earthly approval anyway. I let myself off the hook by calling it a season. It’s easier to say you don’t know how to pray than to admit you don’t want to put forth the effort. I continued somewhat comfortably to wallow in unresponsiveness.
Things finally changed when I owned my apathy and admitted my choice to be indifferent. I told God that I wasn’t holding on to him. I told him that I didn’t even know if I loved him. Then, I felt the warmth of God's pursuit reveal the false distance I'd created. God told me that it hasn’t ever mattered, really, if I held on to him. He's always been holding on to me. It didn’t matter if I loved God—it mattered that God loved me. God’s love was the functioning agent that allowed me to exist, breathe, and pray in the first place.
We are freed to love because we are first loved. Walking with Jesus is not about the fire of our affection for God-- it's about the intensity of God's devotion toward us. A relationship with God is something we rest in. We still have a place to respond, but we use the love that he has already extended in order to love back.
I still have the option of peeing on what God is giving, but I can't stop him from giving it. I can't earn the mercy and grace of God-- I can only receive it. Thinking on God's love melts our indifference. It's not about how willing we are to love or hold on to God-- its about relaxing into the arms that are already holding us.