Is Christianity worth it any more?
I was the child who loved God. I loved being in His Word, new verses excited me, catechism class was my favorite part of the week. I loved to listen to hymns, to learn new ones, to be with other people who shared my faith. I grew up around extremely conservative Christians. People who wore long skirts, kept their hair long, hardly ever wore makeup.
As I aged, I was constantly critiqued by these people. I would never stand up to their standard. Or at least, the standard I placed on myself. I would accidentally say shocking things, things that didn’t fit in with their lifestyle. I was wicked to them, and I must reform myself in their ways or be alone.
And I hated being alone.
But they didn’t care about me. As I got older, things happened in my life, but they never asked how I was doing. They would just critique other people who were “wickeder” then us. People didn’t mind if I came to church and hid in a corner, as long as I just came to church. People didn’t care if I stopped enjoying Scripture, as long as I knew the key passages and could flip through a Bible.
So I began to hate Christianity, because no one cared about my heart. No one cared if I didn’t believe God could really love me. I mean, all they talked about was God’s wrath anyway. Yes, I’m going to hell, why not go to hell in a hand basket?
I started wearing pants. Because who would stop me? I cut my hair. To prove that good girls can have short hair. I dyed my hair. To prove to my dad that hair dying wasn’t against the Bible. I wore makeup. To prove to myself that I could be the same person inside with a modified face. I changed myself. Because I wanted to prove to people that I could still know everything that was important to them in my head, but I didn’t care enough to follow their stupid rules any longer.
I no longer wanted to read God’s Word. I was angry at Him. Angry at the world. Angry at the people who served Him.
They said they did all this in Christ’s name, and yet they left me again. No one asks how I’m doing. No one cares enough to drag the tears out of me. They were thoughtful enough to appease their own consciousness, sending me letter that said they cared. But they never followed up.
So I turned to the world. Dear Evan Hansen kept me alive. If I just hung on, I would be found. There’s a reason to be alive, someday I would have a future. Someday someone would care.
I drifted through songs, and one day, I ended up listening to “The Devil Came Down To Georgia” on repeat for a whole day. So much, that the Devil came down to Georgia, and entered my dream.
Walking down a golden brick road, holding my violin in one hand and my dreams in the other, I stood at a crossroads. One went up a mountain, narrow, steep and rocky. The other road was flat, it went towards the beach, where the waves whispered happily, and people swam.
And there I stood, clutching my violin and my dreams, looking down two different roads. My mind told me to go to the mountains, but my heart longed for the sea.
“Hard choice, isn’t it?” A voice asked from behind me, and I turned to see the devil himself, the most handsome man I’ve ever seen. Tall, ripped, with hair the color of midnight, he smiled a toothpaste commercial smile in my direction. “Don’t worry, you’ve already picked.” He pulled out a golden violin and began to play, dancing in circles around me, pulling me towards the beach. “You decided long ago, dear. It’s just taken you this long to notice. The music that swells from your soul is mine. The tears that flow from your heart, the words that you write, the thoughts you think are all mine.”
I struggled and strained because in my heart I knew he was right. I had strayed, I had been doing things for him instead of for the One I loved. He was strong, he held me without touching my skin, held me with his ruby eyes and his bewitching smile. I was unable to break his charm.
“Let her go, Lucifer, she’s not your prey.” The voice, like a cymbal, stopped the violin’s play. On the other road stood a large man, close to seven feet tall, dressed in white clothes that looked strangely like Star Wars apparel. “She’s been bought, paid for, and redeemed. She belongs to the King.”
If the white hand hadn’t caught my arm, I would have fallen. The Devil’s shrieks filled the air as the man pulled me back to my feet. “You’re safe, but the choice is still yours. Follow the faith of your fathers, or fall.”
“Please, I want to go with you. I swear, I don’t want to go with him, I don’t want the golden violin or all the fame. Please, let me come with you.”
And with a slight smile, the man turned. “Then follow me.”
I woke in a cold sweat, swearing that I would never listen to that kind of music again. Dreams are weird things, aren’t they? But this one started a small flame that has been growing inside of me.
Most of my friends before never cared about Scripture. They didn’t care what I thought about theology. They didn’t care to talk about Jesus, they weren’t interested in anything but stupid, stupid Christian platitudes, or following a list of what’s wicked and what’s not. But I’m not interested in that.
I want to love God. I don’t want to be a people pleaser, I want to be a Jesus pleaser. I want to be on fire for Him. I’ll gladly trade the golden violin and the fame to know I’m following him. I would gladly give the world for a relationship with my King. Because I am His.
Fame will never fulfill me, a golden violin would never explain me. Christianity is worth it to me. Not the kind where you claim Christ but never search Him, never care to face the lions of the world. Never care to stand like Joseph and place your full trust in Him. But the kind where you stand like Daniel, where you preach like Peter, where you trust like George Müller, where you are in essence . . . a Jesus freak.
Because I’d rather be a Jesus freak than one of the crowd. Maybe the cost is great, but in the end, the gain is beyond comparison.
Which road will you take?