By Adeyinka Shittu
Dear young, fly and Saved Christian,
I’m guessing you became ‘born again’ at that Christian conference held at the stadium when that band your Christian friends stalk on Youtube was singing ‘I Surrender All’ (or was it ‘Oceans’?)
You walked to the front, bowed your head, mumbled after the preacher and walked back to your seat a changed person. You got home, cleared out your porn stash, flushed your weed and read two chapters of the bible. That night you dreamed of angels and heaven.
You didn’t stop there.
You told your story in church to the applause of a thousand other people and you got a pat on the back from the pastor and a mail to be a part of a group of young Christians who intend to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. You felt fly.
Because it was the right thing to do, you removed Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ and Kanye West’s ‘Life of Pablo’ from your playlist. Your home boy sent you Lecrae’s album and the pretty girl who leads worship in your fellowship sent you the ‘Empires’ album by Hillsong United swearing you would love it.
You ended up not liking the album because the Taya Smith girl doesn’t know how to ‘work’ it (like Ariana Grande) but you don’t tell your worship leader friend so she doesn’t cancel the plans you guys have for tonight. (Lecrae is cool tho. You like him because the
nigga brother can rap.)
It’s a good place that you are right now. In fact, the best place you can be is where you are right now.
You’re meeting new people and doing cool Christian stuff like speaking in tongues and handing food boxes to homeless people (even if the only reason you do it is for the 200 likes you’ll get on IG.) Keep it all up.
But dear young, fly, saved Christian; it won’t always be this way.
When you go on that mission’s trip to Guatemala with the youth group, you’ll see poverty and sickness and a dozen other things that will shatter your worldview.
And you’ll have questions.
Even if you don’t visit Guatemala, one day, you’ll get tired of wearing church clothes and waking up early to pray. You’ll get tired of Christian songs because they all sound the same and all they ever do is talk of love and grace and heaven.
You’ll put the ‘Boy Meets Girl’ book the worship leader girl gave you away because you guys aren’t going out anymore that Joshua Harris is a deluded Puritan stuck in the 21st century.
Someday, you’ll wake up and find that the old habits came back and your wildfire-type-o’-faith has become the matchstick-type-o’-faith. Believe me, the best place you can be is where you are right now.
God’s grace is not present only when you follow the rules. God’s grace is with YOU all the time.
So if you try to read the bible and can’t make sense of the words, slam it shut and stop wasting everybody’s time. Get off your knees and get out of the door and feel no guilt. (Romans 8:1, you should check it out.)
You’re not a bad Christian because the bible bores you and prayer feels like a chore. You’re not a bad Christian because you skip church when the next depression hits hard. (Although, you’re a bad Christian if you call someone who does the same things you do in secret a bad Christian.)
Dear young, fly, saved Christian, there’s more to following Jesus than wearing ‘Anomaly’ sweats and using ‘#Unashamed’ (and other 116 related) hashtags in your bio.
You may not realize it yet but Christianity is like seasons. There’s summer, spring, winter and fall. Summer and spring are beautiful but autumn and winter are too.
So, if you find yourself in dryness and circumstances akin to wilderness, embrace the deadness and the darkness.
God is not only in the sun and light, he’s on the cross and the grave.
In the falling apart and the falling in place, God is. With. You. All. The. Time.
So when you feel the urge to throw in the towel, I hope you pick up the phone instead and call me.
Remember faith is a fight. Fight the good fight to the finish.
(The one who likes to burst bubbles)