Do you ever feel like your faith ebbs and flows? I liken it to one of my favorite things at Six Flags – roller coasters. There are times when my relationship with the Lord is so intense. I’m resting on Him. Desperately needing Him. Delighting in His presence.
Those are the ups. The hills, some higher than others.
Other times, to my shame, I’m not inviting Him to be part of my daily living. I resist reading His Word. I always pray, but I’m not as conscious of His presence.
Those are the downs.
For roller coasters, the ride just wouldn’t be the same with out them. But for my Christian walk, I wonder if it is dangerous to allow myself to be up and down like that. Am I setting myself up for apathy as I get older? Or cynicism?
And is it just a product of my personality? I’m a creative type. Up and down are norms for me in most areas of my life, though they don’t go too far either way. Does the fact that my faith follows the same type of path just connect with the way I am? Or is that just an excuse?
Paul deals a little bit with the up and down. In Romans 7:19 he says, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” Then in 24, he hits bottom. “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” Turning back to the uphill climb. 25: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
I think Paul understood the ride. I think it frustrated him as much as it frustrates me—probably more. My goal then is not to stay at the top of my hill, but to battle against the natural way of a coaster and try to flatten it out entirely. A steady incline.
That’s the plan.