The biggest blessing and curse of my life was growing up in church.
There may be a bit of hyperbole there, but there’s a point. I have been going to church nearly every Sunday since before I was born. I was saved… somewhere around the age of three. Needless to say, there has been no meaningful part of my life where I haven’t been a Christian.
Though I’ve had my doubts and have still have my struggles (including—funnily enough—a crisis of faith when I was seconds away from playing bass in a chapel at Bible college), I grew up very firmly in the role of the nice, agreeable kid who was very smart, didn’t cause many problems, and liked getting along with everyone. Not a whole lot has changed, aside from being more willing to speak my mind on things I find important now than I used to be.
(Also, thousands of dollars spent on comic books.)
I was raised in a wonderful, loving, Christian household where my sister loved getting me in trouble for things I never did. I never had my first taste of alcohol until I was twenty-five and have never been drunk (both for a variety of reasons). I have never done drugs harder than Buckley’s.* From the age of five when my mom brushed my mouth out with soap for the second time, I hadn’t ever sworn outside of my head until I was angry about a girl situation in a text to my then best friend the night The Dark Knight premiered. For example.
I am by no means trying to establish that I am perfect. That could not be farther from the truth. I have a profound number of problems of my own just like every other broken human being has that God, by His grace, has done incredible work on in me over a phenomenally long time. I am just trying to establish who I was growing up and how I grew up that way.The biggest blessing and curse of my life was growing up in church. Click To Tweet
But why could that be a bad thing?
When you grow up nigh-literally your whole life a Christian as the good kid, believing you’re the good kid, never publicly do anything anyone would decry as awful, and most importantly, never having any meaningful part of your life apart from Christ, it makes it insanely difficult to fully grasp what exactly it is you’re saved from.
This is the biggest question I struggle with every day.
Sure, on an intellectual level, of course I know what I’ve been saved from. But actually and intrinsically feeling that I’ve been saved from Satan, sin, and death with an ultimate freedom in grace and forgiveness that only God can provide? Whole different story. I’ve got the what down cold. It’s the why where I get tripped up.
(I am also thoroughly convinced I have a syndrome of some kind that mutes my emotions and that may honestly be part of it.)
I find it incredibly sad that I have a much easier time hand-selling friends and random strangers on the Internet comics I love, but I have such a hard time telling friends and random strangers on the Internet about the Jesus I love and how He has fundamentally changed my life, saving me from more than I could ever fathom or imagine.
But that time in chapel? I prayed in the washroom right before I went up to play that God wouldn’t let anyone else be distracted by my desperately not wanting to do it any more.
The moment I got on stage and started playing, I had never felt so close to God with a bass in my hands.
***** ***** ***** *****
*Buckley’s is a strong brand of cough syrup available in Canada where I grew up, and thus, made a joke about to underscore that I have never done drugs.