Matthew 18:21-22: 'Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." '
The last thing I've been lately is forgiving. The worst part of all things is that in the above list of people and things I hate, I listed God. I don't know if I actually HATE Him or not, it's just He bothers me and I just don't want these rules imposed on me, I don't like the fear of Hell, and I know that I don't deserve Heaven. A couple of weeks ago, I didn't feel convicted of sin at all - I did stuff I'd been convicted over before, and but had no conviction - but now I'm feeling it regularly. I'm not even sure what I'm doing wrong. I don't know how to get right with God, either. I pray, but it feels shallow. I feel like I'm talking to myself or just running thoughts through my mind. I guess the thing is that I feel DISTANT from God. I can't talk to Him face-to-face, and He's not (or at least doesn't appear to be) right there in front of me. I need that closeness. Why does He continue to just sit up in Heaven and not stand in front of me? If He stood in front of me, THEN I'd feel unworthy, drop to my feet and beg for forgiveness, but now ... shit, now I'm feeling convicted. Now I feel like I did once, when I felt so unworthy I was reduced to grovelling on the floor (would've looked funny to anyone watching, me grovelling to nothing). Now this is what I needed. Where is my faith? Where's it all gone? Where'd it go? HOW did it go? What did I do so wrong? I want to yell at God "Damn You God, forgive me already!" (Hmmm ... maybe that's not the best choice of words) My problem is I can ask for forgiveness, but I fear I'm not strong enough to stick to repentence. I can't repent. I want to. There goes that conviction again. And of all the songs to be playing right now ... And if God would send His angels ... I sure could use them here right now ... Now I just wish I knew HOW to pray, because now I'm getting that conviction. I read the passage in Matthew on prayer, but when I say that, it feels like some shallow vain utterance that's completely insincere.
But now I'm stuck. I don't want to go forward on the path I'm following now, because it's full of hatred and sin and conviction, I don't want to go back to one path I once was following, when I was walking straight towards the world of bubble judgemental Christianity, I want to get back on the right path, but I can't see it, don't know where to find it, and can't sense God. I feel so ... lost. Am I even saved? Was I saved in the first place? Should I be questioning my salvation or am I being tricked? (Right now, I'm getting the feeling that questioning my salvation is some form of evil trickery) Good Zooropa, I'm lost. I need help. But where do I turn? I don't have a church to go to, I'm on school holidays (maybe see the chaplain when I go back? No, I don't think I'm comfortable with that), and I can't turn to my friends. They turn to ME. So where do I go? Turn to God? But how do I know what His response is? I guess it'll be a case of I'll just be able to tell. I want to get to a true relationship with Him. Not some con-job that isn't true, not some bubblised relationship, but a TRUE relationship.
First issue: forgiveness and repentence. I think I'm feeling driven to repentence. I should pray on that.
Second issue: hatred. Writing all this down has helped me lose the hatred or at least ill feeling I've felt towards God, but against others? Lily: no, I don't actually HATE her, I'm more ... apathetic towards her, I guess. She's having a good time on her holiday so far (She got online in some hotel earlier), so I'm glad for her, but I don't really have any feelings of hatred for her. I wouldn't count her as a friend or anything, I'm just ... yes, apathetic towards her. Jenkins and Tyndale: I still dislike them. I fear this is turning into malicious hate and spite. That is NOT good. Should I just forgive them and move on? I feel God's telling me to do that, but I don't know. I never was a very forgiving person as an atheist, so this Christian idea of forgiveness is not that easy for me. My Dad: I hate him for so many reasons. I hate him and I love him at the same time. I need to forgive him, but ... I don't know. There goes that 'I don't know' again, and it's PISSING ME OFF. I hate not knowing. I want to make a firm resolution on things, something I will stick to. There's a lot of other things I hate, but ... maybe I should just forgive them and move on.
Where is hatred going to get me, anyhow? As I said before, I'm losing sight of what I hate and simply HATING, or finding more targets for my hate (i.e. I hate the church, thus this hatred extends to supporters of the church, and then I hate the businesses/organisatiosn of those supporters). The hatred is spiralling into even more hatred, and it's not good. Hatred is getting me nowhere. Life is full of hate, negativity, problems, and they seem to just get worse and harder to deal with, but being negative towards everything and hating it won't do me any good. If I be positive and try not to hate, maybe I'll still get hurt, but I myself won't be compounding the hurt and spinning it into a means of finding more things to hate.
Forgiveness, that's what it's all about. Forgiveness. Forgiveness and love will get me somewhere. No matter what life throws at me, I've got to just dodge it and WALK ON. No matter how many times life spits me in the face, I've just got to wipe it away and WALK ON. No matter how many times life tries to trip me up, I've got to stay on my feet and WALK ON. WALK ON. "And I know it aches/How your heart, it breaks/And you can only take so much/WALK ON, WALK ON." (U2, Walk On) Hopefully, at the end of it all, I'll be doing what Bono was doing at the end of the Slane Castle 2001 performance of Walk On, yelling "Hallelujah!" Ha, I won't be if this conviction remains. Flying orange MacPhisto, I need to repent, and fast.
I feel ... better now. A weight has been lifted off me, I feel .. HAPPY. I feel RELIEVED and ... joyous, maybe. I feel BETTER, like I'm finally starting to walk down the right track (again, or was I ever on it?). I feel like my problems are starting to melt away, like change is coming, change is happening, POSITIVE CHANGE. This is what I need. This is precisely what I need and what other people need, too. Not as in they need to do what I just needed to do - they may, but who am I to judge? - but that I needed to do that because my group has decided that I'm a sort of 'pastor' for the group and they need me to be there, to be strong, to be able to answer them. What good is it for them if the man who's supposed to be there to listen and help them can't even help himself and is feeling incredibly weak? If not for me, I need to be strong for them. People are depending on me for help when they need it, and I simply can't let them down.
Alright, moving onto other issues. Firstly, I'm rather nervous about meeting Lily tomorrow. I'm afraid that something may go tremendously wrong, so I'm going to be EXTREMELY careful. Remember, this is on my turf, in the middle of the busy city of Brisbane, so I have that stacked in my favour. Nonetheless, I'm not going to let my guard down. Only problem is, some of Lily's tour group - apparently six or seven - will probably be coming with her, which REALLY annoys me. Not only does it pose a threat to my safety, but me being the shy person I am ... well, it's bad enough meeting two people (Lily and her Aunt) without all these people thrown in as well, people I don't particularly care too much about and don't exactly want to meet. Mum doesn't know the full details of the break-up - she knows ENOUGH, don't worry about that, just not ALL - so I'll probably spill my guts to her on the drive up to Brisbane. I'm really nervous. I don't WANT to meet Lily, and I KNOW something's going to go wrong. I can feel it. Nonetheless, I won't dwell on it and let me get me down.
Good news - I've stopped procrastinating a bit. I've done some work on my story, and I'll post a scene later because I want some opinions on it. I'll probably do some more work on it on Sunday. Also, I'm actually going to get to bed 'early' tonight. Midnight at the latest. I'm going back to school, so I need to get back into my routine. Plus, I want to wake a bit earlier tomorrow morning so that I can talk to Mum about some stuff. I'm also going to finish reading that Drama play at some point and get to work on the assignment. I don't want to pull a sickie on the 18th so that I don't have to hand it in and have the weekend to work on it. I'll probably end up pulling some late-nighters over the first week back. I've got Monday off - it's a pupil-free-day - so that's a bonus.
Wow ... I've been writing for about an hour. OK, I've been repeatedly stopping to think and whatnot, but a whole hour? Wow. I needed it, though. I feel like I've resolved some issues or am on the path to a resolution, and that's great. Gets a load off my mind and makes me feel better.
Oh, by the way, I've started a little YTF add-on story over at http://com3.akheva.com/brpgcentral.fwriterscorner.t30, and it would be great if some people would join in. The more the merrier. The board is RPG Central, where all the YBTers and YTF/YBT crossovers go, and they have all their RPGs there. I've ended up there because I get on with some of the people there, and, although I dislike RPGs, I love the add-on stories at YTF so I got one going. It would be grand if some other YTFers would come and join in. Extremely, incredibly grand.
I think that's about it for now. Wow, this is a long entry ...