I am writing this whilst facing the mirror in my mother’s bedroom and I am ashamed to give myself a good stare because I don’t recognize myself anymore. At my age, I thought I would have it all figured out. I thought I would be closer to God and His word like I had always anticipated when I grew up as a little boy in the church. I stopped going to church when I arrived at the African Leadership Academy because the same auditorium I got angry was not a suitable place for me to worship.( Again, probably this is me making an excuse for my behavior. Besides, that’s totally irrelevant) And I had recently moved to a different location and I going to Soweto every week was not ideal—cost wise.
I moved back home 10 months ago after I had completed my Cambridge A-Level studies and the first time I went back to my residential church, I felt displaced. Things were now different—friends I had in the church had distanced themselves and the teaching were still spiritually convicting and told the unbiased truth of Jesus. In the twenty-eight months, I had been gone, a lot changed about me. I started to see the world in a different light. I would listen to the pastor preach but I wondered where the female pastors were? I was more concerned why we sang more English songs than African songs. I grew up in this church, but why was everything suddenly different and I felt somehow about it?
I had changed too, I repeat. I first interacted with alcohol, deliberately so, when I was sixteen. After that night when my head spun, my spirit was convicted and I swore that I would touch it ever again. But that remains completely untrue. I stopped going to church because each time I raised my hands during worship I became more concerned with the length at which my shirt reached my lower part of my arms. I was more focused on whether someone was looking at my almost-creased shirt because I was in a hurry and I couldn’t properly iron because I got in late the night before from partying– a distasteful creature I had become. I became scared to raise my hands because my mind wondered off to the place I was the night before. I thought about the glass of Long Island cocktail that I raised up when I jammed to Rihanna’s track.
Are my hands worthy to worship the Lord when they have been consumed in ungodliness? Do I deserve to be at His feet and crying Abba Father when all I was concerned about was getting my next fix? Do I still get to use the lips that touched someone else’s and tell Him that I love Him and I want to serve Him? So, I stopped going to church. I am tired of this schizophrenic behaviour. The Bible does say you can’t two masters at the same time. And my master is Jesus and I want to find Him again and grow in knowing and loving him. But how do I do that in the comfort of sinful indulgence?
Lord, though I fail most times, I know your grace is sufficient to keep me going. I thank you Lord that you have not given up on me. Father, I want to grow in knowing you and help me Lord to serve you as you ought to be. Father, my spirit can never be in peace if I am not in thy presence. I can never be whole without you in my life. And if I continue to fail you, Lord let me remember that you brought me to far to refuse to repent and not grow.