(in addition to being the latest in new posts that are being brought from the old website, this is Jacqueline’s first post on the new blog. Let’s hear it in the comments!)
I was playing softball with my three older siblings in the front yard. It was a sunny day, and I rounded second, willing my 8 year-old legs to run faster. My brother Josh waited at third, both for me and for the ball. My dad, across the yard, was leaned over the engine compartment of his mint-green ’60s pickup truck, absorbed in his work.
The ball got there first. When he tagged me out, I blurted “shit!” and looked up at dad, instinctively covering my mouth. I was caught. I idolized my older brothers, and they constantly exercised their vocabulary to one day make it as a sailor. But even they wouldn’t drop the S-bomb in front of Dad.
As only my dad could do, he called me over to him at the truck and said, “If I ever,” pausing for effect, “hear you say a word like that again, or hear of you saying a word like that…” another agonizing pause… “I’ll tear you up.”
From that day on, I made it my goal to never rebel. I was careful not to cuss, for fear of Dad finding out and making good on his promise.
I saw God as much the same way, ready to discipline for any act of rebellion. Which led me to the straight and narrow path of keeping God happy. My experience with church people told me that there was a list of things to do that were approved, and as long as I stayed on the list, I was good to go. I had a relationship with God, but it was marked by strict observance of the rules.
It wasn’t until college that God brought to me the verse in Jeremiah that says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick…” Those words struck me as odd. After all, I wasn’t a rebel. I was a good little church girl. But here God’s word was telling me I was deceitful and sick. Worse than that, Jesus said that he only came for the sick. But the more I thought about it, I began to realize that all my ‘good works’ were nothing more than an attempt to please people, and please God. They often came from less than pure motives. That realization continues even today, and the more I learn of my desperate need the more beautiful the cross becomes to me.
Since joining the staff of Campus Crusade in 2005, my walk with Christ has become changing my perspective from the ‘good church girl’ to seeing myself as the rebel in need of a savior. The best news of all, that I get to share with the girls I meet on campus, is that Jesus came to save us from our deceitful hearts. And no matter if I beat the ball to third or not, and no matter how I react to getting tagged out, I am safe in Him.
How about you? Ever have a rebellious period? Or did you, like me, do your rebelling from a church pew?