Imagine for a moment feeling like you have an itch, but you don’t know where to scratch.
It is like having a feeling that something is not quite right but you really can’t put your finger on what it could be. You wake up with that feeling, live with it all day and go to bed at night with it still there.
We all know what it feels like to have a place on our back that we can’t reach that needs to be scratched. That’s right, we tell our wife or husband, it’s just between the shoulder blades. No…not quite there…just a little to the right…up a little higher and then Ahhh! Things feel better al ready.
Imagine if you will having an itch for several years—knowing that it would feel better if someone could scratch it—but for the life of you—you can’t really tell them where it is at. It is like an undefined longing—having benn told that the top of the mountain or our destination is just around the corner but never ever arriving. Always moving towards something that we have assumed is just around the corner but by the time we get there fwe find that the block has been turned into an office complex, another hospital or a car dealership.
For several years I attended a church where I was told from the pulpit every week what it looked like to be a good Christian person. I knew I was one because I remember the evening that I was born again and had my sins forgiven. It is kind of like a Mount Rushmore moment—you know that you have been there. It is not like somebody pulled the wool over my eyes—I became a Christian that very evening.
But in church, I was told that you had the read the bible every day (the longer the better), pray a lot and take your wife out on a date night every week. I was told that there were certain conditions that applied to me and to get to where I was headed I would have to meet these conditions and move on to the next level. It was a little bit of grace mixed with a little bit of performance mxed with a little bit of who knows what—and a lot of guilt when we didn’t live up to the high standards that were always being set for us.
So we kind of “flew under the radar” to coin a phrase. When asked how you were doing, you knew what to say and you knew the right words to use as well. We learned to talk “christianeese”. Don’t let them see you sweat turned into don’t really let them know what is really going on because if you do then there will be a price to pay.
Every week it was a new “message” even though I hadn’t even had the time to put into practice the one from the week before. I collected literally tons of journals filled with notes I took each week that I never looked at after I filled them up.
I rencetly went through several boxes of these notebooks I had saved and threw them out. It’s not like they weren’t any good—they were—filled with scripture and thoughts about life at the time. But I knew that after 10 years of storing them they would never see the light of day again.
Don’t get me wrong—I am not bitter about those years spent in a box. That is not why I am writing this. I just don’t want to spend any more years there.
I am closer than ever before to being able to locate the itch—to see a path through the forest—to move beyond the point of being stuck somewhere I really don’t what to be.
My life is beginning to have a new soundtrack put to it and I am anxious to hear it as it gets recorded.
It’s the ride I am on.