Many moons ago, my husband was to spend his very last semester of college in Germany. Our friends planned a huge sendoff which included monetary donations for his trip and even a concert complete with a song written just for him. The chorus of the song says,
“So long, Chuck. Please get out of our country.
We don’t give a… crap about you, or Germany.
Sick of seeing you run in place, you’re such an emotional basket case.
So long, Chuck. Horse Moose.”
It’s so funny for so many reasons, most of which are inside jokes. But the funniest part is “you’re such an emotional basket case,” because he’s so not. He’s as even-keeled as they come.
Over the past few months, I’ve seen more emotion from my husband than ever before. He’s been more angry. He’s been more sad. He’s been more reflective. He’s been more open. He’s cried more. That’s been good. It’s also scared the crap out of me.
He’s no longer the same even-keeled guy I’ve known for 13 years. He’s showing me more of who he is and I don’t quite know how to handle it. My pastor tells me this is a good thing. More of Charles means more of Charles to know and to love. He’s right, of course. (He almost always is.) But it still scares me. I’m comfortable with Old Charles. I know how to handle Old Charles. He’s comfortable and predictable. New Charles says hard things and asks hard questions that throw me off.
I’ve been thinking this week that I have the same fears about God. Having grown up in church, you could say I’ve “known God” my entire life. I know how to handle the God I’ve known for 32 years. For the past few months, however, I’ve realized that my deep-seated legalism has greatly marred my view of who God actually is. I’ve created a god who does not match up with Scripture. Again, the Pharisee in me has created a god that I think I control. I know how to act and what to say to keep that god pleased with me. The harder I work, the happier he is. The past few months have been a period of “unlearning” much of what I think I know about God. I’m learning more about the true God.
More of the true God can only be a good thing, right?
But I’m scared.
More of the true God means that I am less in control. He will do as he pleases.
More of the true God means more sacrifice, and more dying to self.
More of the true God means more freedom, and more hope.