The Christian I Want to Be vs. The Christian I Am
Emily Sears shares her struggles of living the life of a Christian.
April 7, 2011
I set my alarm clock for five, so I can wake up and spend time with God. I carefully arrange my journal, devotionals, popular Christian books, and Bible beside my bed so I can easily reach them as I switch off my alarm.
Emily Sears, columnist for The Rampage.
My alarm rings at five in the morning. I have no idea why I would ever set it so early when I don’t have class until 9:30. I quickly hit snooze every ten minutes until it is 9:10. I now no longer have time for a shower, so I slap my hair on top of my head in a messy bun and use a headband to cover up the grease. I crack open a Red Bull and arrive in class three minutes late.
My car’s radio is set to Spirit FM, and I love listening to the contemporary songs and traditional hymns. The DJs read daily Bible verses, and guest speakers talk about new books that are popular in the Christian circle. As I tap my fingers to the steering wheel and sing the words off-key, I feel closer to God.
Today my iPod flipped from Lil Wayne to 2Pac to Chevelle to Hollywood Undead. I know every word to every Taylor Swift song, and my rendition of Justin Beiber’s “Baby” could make you a Belieber. I love my music thumping, and the edited versions are not as good. I don’t say the cuss words, just mouth them.
I am constantly searching Amazon for the latest Bible studies. I own The Purpose Driven Life, Crazy Love, Radical, Captivated, and so many more. Reading testimonies from other Christians inspires me, and I want to feel the same way they did while reading these books. Although I would never tell anyone about what the book has done for me, I still want to be a part of the Christian community.
I have never read The Purpose Driven Life. I’ve read half of Radical and Captivated. Piles of Bible study booklets are scattered around my bedroom. I have finished half of a study of the Holy Spirit only because I had to for work. I look at Bible study reading plans, print them off, and tape them around my room only to neglect them as quickly as the notion of starting one came about.
I lead a Bible study every other Wednesday. I do not lead it every week because I want to allow another Resident Assistant the opportunity to lead one. The Bible study is an in-depth look at the Scriptures. I lead a group of girls further into the Word, and it is astonishing what God has done with them. Every time we come together, I feel so blessed.
Every other Wednesday, an hour before the Bible study begins, I Google good devotionals for college-aged girls. I then choose whichever devotional appeals to me, and I print it out. Then, I fumble my way through Scriptures and prayers to try not to embarrass myself. I do it because each week I convince myself I will prepare more and it will be great. I do it because I know it is the right thing to do and maybe I can convince everyone else that I am not the failure that I really am.
“I will pray for you.” “I am so sorry you are going through that. I have no idea what you are going through, but I will pray for you.” “It will be okay. God’s got it under control. I will pray for you.” “Your grandmother is ill? Oh no. I will pray for you.” “Consider it prayed for!”
I fell asleep tonight a few lines into my prayer. I forgot about this request and that request and when I said I would write it down, I didn’t. I didn’t remember your grandmother was ill, but when I ask about her tomorrow, I’m going to act like I prayed for her.
Making out is bad. I do not make out because passionate kissing leads to sex, and I do not want to start that fire. My boyfriend and I hold hands and kiss, but I realize that this is not for all couples. If I could go back in time, I would never start a physical relationship with him.
I have been dating the same guy for almost four years. The fact that we have not had sex amazes most people, so if I want to make out, I’m going to. We park in deserted parking lots and kiss as if no one is watching. We always stop a few moments too late, and I know that we are not glorifying God. I worry each time about which of the girls from my Bible study saw me.
I am the perfect Christian.
I am the worst Christian.
I have everything figured out.
I have nothing figured out.
I can only improve with time.
None of my improvements last.
Sometimes I am not a Christian.
Sometimes I am.