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Hand over the keys

One of the things I find weird (and difficult) is that people think I am someone I am not. I could be wrong on this, but I think that people think that I am a good christian, and kinda sorted. Sure, we all have that to some degree, the person that we present to others is normally not the entirety of who we are. I am really feeling this tension at the moment.

I think its because I am sharing in all sorts of different places now (which I find so weird as well). And so when people haven't journeyed with you over a period of time, and you turn up to a group, share, and then leave, they get a snapshot of you looking your best. Passionate, fired up. You look like Jimi Jesus. And as much as you try to tell them that you are not, as much as you try and honestly share your struggles, I can see that people are looking at me and my life as some sort of example. I am scared by that thought.

And so this feeling of hypocrisy starts to grow. The tension between my theory and my practice is amplified. My pride, selfishness, my struggles, my consumerism, the many things that are ugly and sinful in my life sit far more uncomfortably with me.

I am trying to remind myself more and more that I do not need to be perfect or sorted to be used by God. But that's one thing as a statement, another as a truth that I really believe. I think I am getting there. I am trying to share more of who I really am. I have a couple of people that I love and respect that I meet with very regularly who know everything about me, and who ask me tough questions. I am trying to get my head around the implications of grace, forgiveness and a life of freedom. I am slowly walking towards a greater wholeness.

This article by Rob Bell absolutely nails it for me. (thanks chris)

"This whole experience broke me a long time ago. . . . The fact that God could use me, I'm still ... in awe."

"For years, I had this recurring dream that I was getting pulled over for speeding and the cop was God and the cop said, 'You didn't really think I'd let you drive it, did you?' and asked me to hand over the keys,"

"I've come to terms with [the idea that] whatever it is I do apparently helps people and I'm most humbled by that, so I'm going to try to keep doing it, to be true to whatever it is that God's given me to do, You'd be a fool to think that there weren't larger powers at work here."

That was a difficult post to write, but I think necessary. Thanks for being part of my group therapy. Seeya on the couch next time : )

“Hand over the keys”

  1. Blogger Gareth Bezett Says:

    Sam, I for one have never thought that you were a good Christian, or even a good person. You always seemed to accept that your salvation was unearned and undeserved. Your journey is inspirational to me because of that. You're a role model not becuase you've got it right, but becuase you keep striving to get it right.

  2. Blogger Debs Says:

    Grrr I responded with a 500 word comment and when i hit enter it naffing well deleted it. Took me about 20 minutes to write and everything.

    In a nutshell i rambled on about how often when people put lables, hats etc on other people it is because of their own insecurities and internal narratives and often very little to do with the actual person they are focussing on.

    I then verbal diarrhoed on to say how believe it or not, many people seem to have the same sort of attitude toward me, that I am some holy wise woman who fears the lord at all times, is sexually pure, mother teresa the 2nd, mother of the year, kindest friggen heart,can bust out in prayer and spends every waking moment worshipping the lord etc. No matter how much i blog about how my life is the opposite, write about it, tell people about it etc etc, for some strange reason i am viewd as some sort of saint.

    When in fact I can be a real bitch, get hacked off with drunk homeless dudes, sometimes sleep with my exboyfriend, smack my daughter when Im stressed, only pray when i want something, dont even know where my bible is right now,sometimes feel like a looser when i worship because i sing so loud and off key, etc etc.

    The more people think im holy the more it is I want to rebel. I think if you evaluate your life, ask yourself "is there anything I do that deliberatly feeds peoples perceptions of me?" and then repent and seek to address that, and then have a clean conscience then you could take rest in the fact that it's not actually your fault you are who you are. You just are you. You just are Sam Harvey. There's actually not anything you can do about it BUT be sam harvey. People may choose to put you on a pedestal but my friend that is something between them and God to work out.

    Im glad you are you and appreciate that your doing your damdest to be more real - shake off the cloak others have put on you and wear the cloak that you were born to wear with pride.

    Hope this does not sound cheesy, naff, or mean.

  3. Blogger Naomi Says:

    It is so cool that you have posted on this because it is exactly how I am feeling at the moment. Not so much that other people think I am something that I am not - I am pretty darn sure people see the worst in me because I frequently let my human side show, not out of an active choice but just because I am so impulsive I often can't help myself.

    For me I am struggling with the fact that all these aspects of myself which I find so disturbing, the parts of my personality and character which grieve and sadden me, that I think are abhorrent, are the very parts of my character which God uses the most. When I was younger I always thought that these things would magically disappear as I grew up and God changed my character but infact, much to my horror, as I have matured as a person and as a christian these things have actually intensified, become magnified and bother me more than ever.

    Perhaps I feel this way because I feel like I am more able to identify my own flaws, but recently I have come to believe that this is a pure example of how God is using my weaknesses to display His strength. My hot-headedness and outspokeness have always been something that I have disliked about myself and wished would go away, but often God uses this part of me for His own purposes. Even if this is when I am having to be humble and back down and apologise to someone for losing my temper, God is still using this for some purpose.

    At the end of the day what Debs is saying here is really the fundamental thing here - that God uses me because I am me, as I am right now, through all my weaknesses and giftings, and even though it totally makes no sense to me.

    I encourage you Sam to keep trusting in God that no matter what perception others have of you, either accurate or false, that God is working in you and through you despite it all. I commend you for not waiting until you are perfect to allow God to use you but instead fighting through your own fear and disbelief and getting out there and doing it anyway.


  4. Blogger Rob Says:

    I imagine the day I finally reconcile my theory with my practice will be the day that my theory has gone out the window, either that or the day I die and find myself tearing around the new earth.
    Although I think I have gotten a little closer over the years... maybe.
    The Bell quote is cool, I think Chris has it up in his office somewhere... The beauty of grace.

    Gareth's comment is gold.

  5. Blogger Gareth Bezett Says:

    While we're on a roll, it struck me that if people were saying negative things about you there would be no suggestion that you should accept it or be defined by their opinions. What right to people have to paint someone as a saint any more than to paint someone as scum?

  6. Anonymous Debs is cool Says:

    Amen! Preach it brother, preach it :)

  7. Blogger muzik Says:

    Enjoyed the read my man. It's funny how others view those of us who teach, and even those who don't that sit in the service wearing their "Sunday Best". It's all for show.

  8. Blogger Sir H C Llenrad Says:

    Highly recommend listening to this talk (mp3) from Rob Bell speaking at Wheaten College.

    This is part three of three talks he gave.