Cartwheeling into Walls

When I first started this blog, a whole six months ago or so,  I wrote the tag line which included, “Cartwheels on a Narrow Path”. At the time, I had just joined a church for the first time. But before I get to cartwheeling, let me give you synopsis version of God and me.

One summer when I was a little girl, my parents allowed my older sister and me to go to a vacation bible school in a one-room schoolhouse. It was mostly to give us something to do in the middle of a restless summer. When our van drove up, rays of light seemed to burst from around the building and inside was more of the same. A young teacher shared marvelous stories from the Bible using flannelboards with rolling hills, happy children and the most handsome, smiling man I had ever seen–Jesus. I was in love.

In stark contrast, religion as I knew it in the quasi-Catholic sense, was based on fear, suffering and confusion. Every question I ever had was answered with, “that is a mystery” or “just have faith”. In essence, non-answers. I don’t think I ever saw anyone open the white leather bible with gold-edged pages. It was more revered as in, “Hey, don’t touch that or I’ll spank you!”

I never went back to the little church after that summer, but the sweet memory clung like pollen dust on my finger. Then other religious people seemed to turn into bees attracted to that pollen. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, you name it. They wanted a piece of me. At first, I thought it was great! I learned about God, so I believed it didn’t matter. But, as I was teased incessantly about turning my back on tradition or being weird for wanting to know more than chanted prayer, I turned my back on Him.

He didn’t turn his back on me though. Decades later, I found my church. I found a great group of imperfect people just like me, embracing life, being thankful to God for all things, including the hardships that they learn from. I also was given a gift that is truly priceless–faith.

So, six months ago I was cartwheeling through this narrow path of Christianity. I was feeling blessed and I was wanting to bless others. My children were enjoying the experience and they too had a deeper faith. And just like that, mid-cartwheel, I hit a wall. Call it a wall of exhaustion. A wall of laziness. A wall of stupidity. I just can’t muster up the energy to get all the troops together for Sunday, much less Friday or Wednesday church! (FYI: Being a Christian is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of time and energy, but I still believe it is completely worth it).

Just like a diet, no one will do it for me. I must shake it off. Focus on Him. And go!

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