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I Want a Break From God

My high school senior English teacher was pretty much Elaine from Seinfeld. I loved her. We all loved her. During one of her famous passionate lectures, she once commented about how nice it must be to be a stupid person. She explained that there must be something quite freeing about being able to shut off your brain and quit thinking about something–to essentially think about nothing.

Because intelligent people, she argued, were always thinking. In fact, they never stopped thinking…and it was exhausting. She envied the dumb.

This resonated with me (not that I consider myself brilliant by any means)–the fact that I cannot stop myself from thinking. I read this the other day and smiled because it is me: “I’ve been overthinking about overthinking again.”

You’d think that thinking would prove more fruitful, but no. Instead, I wonder how I get here again and again. It seems so futile–the race and the running, when despite my best effort I find myself doing just that.

And that is part of the problem, my effort. I hate striving. I hate watching “Christians” strive for Jesus. Wondering what we can do for God instead of being with God. Working instead of abiding. Trying instead of receiving.

So when it’s my turn, I feel like a failure and a liar. A fraud.

All those sad thoughts that wrap me up like warm blankets making me forget His goodness. All those sad thoughts that infiltrate my mind making yesterday feel so present and tomorrow seem so hopeless.

And I drop a glass while unloading the dishwasher. “Shit,” I yell looking at the broken pieces of glass feeling helpless to do anything about it. Mine as well be me, I think–shattered into a million pieces. Then I know I’m in no state to minister to anyone. I’m the one who needs to be ministered to. And intellectually I know that’s okay. I know it’s okay and acceptable for me to have a bad day or a bad week, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling guilty when I do.

Instead, what I want is to take off my armor of God and slip out of the Spirit for a moment and just be…by myself. I don’t want to think like Jesus, act like Jesus, talk about Jesus…for just a minute. Really…for one minute…

I want a break from God.

Yes, I love Him. Yes, I adore Him. Yes, I know that in Him and by Him and through Him all things have their meaning, but I’m tired. Tired of thinking, tired of pretending, tired of saying the right things at the right time. I wonder if He blames me or if He gets it. If He understands my desire to hit “pause” on this Christian life.

It’s not that I want to run away forever or abandon my faith. I’m not even having a crisis of faith, I’m just sore and achy from the burden of this life hidden in Jesus. I feel beat up, bruised and I know that if I could just stop thinking I’d gain some relief.

A break. Aloneness. Stillness. Apart from God.

But, I know it’s not possible and not only is it not possible, it’s ludicrous. One moment apart from Jesus would feel like a thousand years outside His tent. Because I don’t really want a break from God.

Really what I want, what I need, is freedom from “being a Christian.”

I need to be reminded again that I don’t serve an institute or a building. I don’t worship or fear man, but rather the Living God. And He will give me all the time I need to recapture Him and embrace this revelation, once again.

The Spirit will give me a break from myself, from my striving and trying, from my old patterns and unhealthy notions. I need only ask.

Because I can run, but I can’t hide. Jesus will find me. There are no breaks from God–only rest in Him and redemption. {sigh}…and that’s a good thing for those of us who can’t stop thinking.

Have you ever felt like you wanted a break from God? Or from Christianity? Or church? Or religion? What did you do and what did God do?